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Market Watch

Swaps have increased fairly significantly which will prevent most lenders repricing downward unless they are hell bent on increasing market share at a loss.

  • One-year money is up 0.09% at 4.55%

  • Two-year money is up 0.08% at 4.47%

  • Three-year money is up 0.08% at 4.47%

  • Five-year money is up 0.06% at 4.46%
    • GMAC-RFC has stepped back into the residential market with a solid two-year deal fixed at 4.55%, available to 90%. It is available through Legal & General and for remortgages includes free legals and valuation. Don’t forget you need to book this rate. GMAC-RFC also launched a three-year buy-to-let remortgage rate at 5.39%, available to 85% with a 545 arrangement fee and 250 cashback plus free legals.

      There are also a pair of reasonable looking three-year fixed self-cert rates, 5.15% up to 75% LTV and 5.45% up to 90% LTV.

      I’m surprised Abbey is moving its online proposition offline. This is a big step backward. It is claiming this reduces the amount of time you spend online and the associated cost but there can’t be many firms who don’t have broadband or ISDN so the ability to disconnect is not a huge advantage and internet access is a fixed rather than a variable cost. When we are online we can use our phones. The main disadvantage of offline is that you have to use the same pc each time so you cannot work in several locations or from your pc at home unless you lug a laptop around with you.

      BM Solutions has launched a few buy-to-let rates. The highlights are a 5.09% rate which is base plus 0.59% for life with a fee of 1.5% which is available up to 85% LTV for purchases and remortgages, and a 5.25% base plus 0.75% for life remortgage deal with a fee of 0.75%, again available to 85% LTV with free remortgage service and refund of valuation (up to the usual 490). Both rates have early repayment charges for the first three years and the rental calculation is 125% of the pay rate.

      Meanwhile, Coventry has launched a buy-to-let fixed at 4.99% for four years. It is available to 80% LTV. There is a 1,000 fee which can be added, a 250 booking fee payable upfront and free valuation. On remortgages the legal fee will only be 285. The rental calculation is 130% of the pay rate. Best of all there are no early repayment charges. This wins rate of the week.

      Well done to Northern Rock which has put all its current rates on rate watch. It makes it a lot easier to structure clients’ expectations if you know a rate may be withdrawn.

      I am disappointed BM Solutions has not put a mini Martin Reynolds on its website and replaced mini Alan with an attractive redhead named Red. Rumours abound that it could not afford Reynolds’ image rights after he started using the same agent as David Beckham.

      Over in the City, three-month LIBOR is up 0.01% at 4.60% so the market sees little chance of a base rate change in the next three months. Twelve-month LIBOR is up 0.07%at 4.55% indicating the City thinks there will be no cuts in base rate in the next 12 months.

      Those nice people who work for John Prescott at the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister say house prices rose by an annual rate of 4% in July, a slowdown from June’s 5%. During the three months to the end of July price growth was 5% compared with the same period a year earlier. The ODPM says all UK countries saw a slowdown in price growth during July except Northern Ireland.

      The inflation figure is inching higher as a result of rising petrol prices, according to figures from the Office for National Statistics. Consumer price index inflation rose to 2.4% in August from 2.3% in July, the highest for eight years. Despite the rise in CPI, analysts believe there may be room for the Bank of England to cut interest rates as the ‘core’ level of inflation – which gives the year-on-year figure – is 1.7%.

      Jonathan Cornell is technical director at Hamptons International MortgagesHero of the week is BM Solutions for the speed at which its offers are issued. Against an industry average of 13.7 days to offer, 50% of its offers come within a week and the average is nine days. Villain of the week is The Mortgage Business for sending out an email saying it has new rates which lists the rates being withdrawn as TBE216, 217, 218, 219. Who knows its product codes off by heart?


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