• One-year money is down 0.01% at 4.94%• Two-year money is unchanged at 5.02% • Three-year money is unchanged at 5.07% • Five-year money is up 0.01% at 5.07% Hero of the week is Platform for the changes it has made to its criteria. It has launched a 90% buy-to-let proposition for conforming and sub-prime mortgages. It has raised many of its income multiples and cut its self-employed minimum trading period for self-cert to three months. Platform has also introduced five LTV bandings across its sub-prime range, which should allow lower LTV clients to get lower rates. Its 90% buy-to let proposition is dif- ferent from The Mortgage Works’ in that rather than charging a 1% fee as TMW does, Platform charges a higher rate for 90% while charging the same fee. It has a three-year tracker at 90% at 5.55%, a lifetime tracker at 6%, a two-year rate fixed at 6.10%, a three-year fix at 6% and a five-year fix at 5.90%. Villain of the week is Northern Rock for having a different interest-only calculation to other lenders. It is apparently called Enhanced Monthly Rest and the good news is that it means payments are lower than on a traditional interest-only loan. The bad news is that it is impossible to explain and unless the client is an actuary or a nuclear physicist, they stand little chance of understanding it. Coventry has launched a pair of trackers which look great value as they have no early repayment charges. Both rates are for two years. One of these deals is 4.50% with a 350 arrangement fee and a 199 booking fee and the other is 4.75% with a 150 arrangement fee and a 199 booking fee. Royal Bank of Scotland Intermediary Partners has increased its two-year fixed rates. I think it needed to slow down the number of applications to ensure its services standards remained intact. RBS and First Active two- year fixed rates have gone from 4.59% up to 4.85%. These rates come with 599 fees. A 4.95%deal with a 499 fee is also available. After all the adverse comment about its exit fees, Alliance & Leicester has committed to setting exit fees at the start of mortgages, rather than changing them during the term of the loans. Northern Rock has already committed to this and I hope other lenders follow suit. In contract terms I could never understand how lenders were allowed to make such significant changes to exit fees during the term of a client’s mortgage. The Derbyshire has increased the pay rates on its Swiss LIBOR trackers. Swiss LIBOR rate has increased by 0.25% up to 1.45%. The society has reduced the margin it charges over LIBOR so the rate increases are less than the LIBOR increase. The Derbyshire’s residential five- year tracker is now available at 4.29%, (2.84% over three-month LIBOR) and the society’s lowest buy-to-let five-year tracker is at 4.44% (2.99% over LIBOR). I’m not sure if the new fees match the old ones which were 0.5% for residential and 1.25% for buy-to-let, or if the LTVs have changed. Standard Life has made a number of changes to its buy-to-let criteria. The maximum LTV has increased to 85%, the rental income is calculated at 120% and it will also consider earned income. The maximum loan at 85% LTV is 400,000 and the maximum loan at 75% LTV is 750,000. It offers a remortgage of up to 10 properties for total arrangement and booking fees of 999. I forgot to mention last week that Mortgage Express’ new two-year discounted buy-to-let product at 4.79% has the interest calculation at the pay rate. This usually applies on rates of three years and over. Jonathan Cornell is technical director at Hamptons Mortgages
Swaps remained virtually unchanged last week. There has been little rate activity in the past couple of weeks but there\'s been a fair amount of innovation and also replication.