Market Watch

It was a mixed week for swap rates. Initially they fell significantly but then edged back up.

  • One-year money is down 0.04% at 4.50%
  • Two-year money is down 0.01% at 4.48%
  • Three-year money is up 0.01% at 4.53%
  • Five-year money is up 0.01% at 4.57%

Last week was a busy one for rate changes, though I don’t think recent moves in swaps were behind this. I reckon the changes were driven by lenders trying to preserve service levels coming under pressure from business volumes.

Rate of the week is Lambeth’s new five-year fixed rate at 4.30%. Like its two-year fix at 4.15%, the LTV is restricted to 80% and the maximum loan size is 350,000 but at least it’s good to see a lender competing so fiercely for business.

The Mortgage Works increased its three-year year buy-to-let fixed rate with the 1.5% fee from 4.55% to 4.79%. Those brokers lucky enough to be able to package for TMW had a day or so to submit lists.

Meanwhile Abbey managed to do the same when it pulled its excellent 4.29% two-year fixed rate. It gave a day and a half notice for brokers to be able to submit lists to its processing centre. It just goes to show that lenders that have decent tranche management and care about how their actions impact on brokers can give enough notice if they choose to.

If you’ve not yet spotted them, Clydesdale has an excellent pair of lifetime tracker rates with no early repayment charges, available through L&G. For purchases the rate is base plus 0.19% for loans above 150,000, up to 85%. For remortgages over 100,000 you can have base plus 0.24% with free conveyancing and valuation.

West Brom has launched a two-year fixed flexible buy-to-let deal at 4.54% with a 1.5% fee. It is available up to 85% and 350,000. It has also reduced its three-year fixed buy-to-let down to 5.29% which now has flexible features including a free valuation up to 350. The fee for this rate is 649It was great to see Northern Rock reduce a number of its rates too last week. Its fixed rates have been quite off the pace of its main competitors recently. Its flexible fixed rates have come down by 0.2%. The core two-year fixed rate up to 85% LTV is now a much more competitive 4.49%. And NR has also reduced its buy-to-let flexible fixed rates by 0.50%. The 87% LTV two, three, five and seven-year flexible fixed rates are now all 5.49% which look much better value.

BM Solutions has brought back its base plus 0.39% lifetime buy-to-let tracker rate. It is available through L&G up to 85% with a 1.5% arrangement fee. The rental calculation is 125% of the pay rate.

GMAC-RFC has repriced its buy-to-let fixed rates and they are now significantly more competitive. Its two-year fixed rate up to 75% LTV is now 5.09% and at 85% LTV it is 5.19%. The fee for these is 545. The 89% LTV buy-to-let product which is fixed for three years, is now 5.19% with a 795 fee.

It’s always refreshing to see a lender reducing its fees (yes it’s not a misprint I did say reducing). Well done to Nationwide for reducing its five and 10-year fixed rate reservation fees from 389 to 199. I doubt anyone will copy it.

If you have not used it before, Skipton is well worth trying. It has recently done some healthy income stretches for clients. It’s just a shame it caps its proc fee at 2,500. Let’s hope it changes this soon.

Over in the City three-month LIBOR is down 0.03% at 4.57%. The base rate is now 4.50%, meaning the market sees little chance of a change in the next three months. Twelve-month LIBOR is down 0.04% at 4.50% indicating the City thinks there will not be further changes to the base rate in the next 12 months.