Market Watch

Swaps edged up for a few days before dropping back slightly. They are now at two-year highs.

  • One-year money is down 0.01%at 5.24%
  • Two-year money is down 0.01% at 5.26%
  • Three-year money is unchanged at 5.27%
  • Five-year money is unchanged at 5.22%

    I was saddened to see Nationwide and Royal Bank of Scotland Intermediary Partners raise their SVRs by more than the 0.25% base rate increase. At least RBS didn’t try to sweeten the pill as Nationwide did by quoting other lenders’ SVRs and saying how much lower its still is. This misses the point for borrowers whose mortgages will rise by more than their neighbours’.

    Halifax has launched an excellent two-year fixed rate at 4.49%. Following the rest of the HBOS Group it has a 1,499 arrangement fee and is available to 60% LTV. By my maths, this product is cheaper for loans over 125,000 compared with Portman’s 4.69% rate with the 999 fee, and is better for loans over 100,000 compared with RBS Intermediary Partners’ two-year fixed rate at 4.89% with a 699 fee. Admittedly both of the others have better LTVs.

    Halifax is also changing its re-mortgage and re-tention tracker rates. The new two-year rate for loans between 125,000 and 250,000 is 4.89% with a 699 fee and for loans above 250,000 the rate is 4.79% with a 999 fee. There are also no-fee versions available.

    Bank of Scotland has launched a number of excellent looking remortgage products. There is a two-year tracker at 4.29% with a 1,499 fee for loans up to 500,000, a 4.69% rate with a 499 fee and a 4.89% rate with no fee. All these have a free non-disclosed valuation and free conveyancing or 200 cashback and refund of valuation on completion.

    There is also a large loans remortgage product for loans from 500,000 to 1m at 4.44% with a 1,499 fee or a 4.64% rate with a 599 fee.

    Portman has launched a two-year fixed rate at 4.48% with a 1.5% fee. I guess this will be better value than the Halifax rate for loans less than 100,000 or LTVs higher than 60%. Portman has increased its two-year fixed rate with remortgage package from 5.15% to 5.35%. The three-year fix has increased from 4.89% to 4.99% and the five-year fix has risen from 5.10% to 5.24%.

    Clydesdale has increased its LTV banding. On residential loans it will now lend up to 85% LTV on a purchase price of 1m, 80% LTV on prices between 1m and 1.5m, 75% LTV between 1.5m and 3.5m and 70% LTV above 3.5m. On buy-to-let it will now lend up to 80% LTV on purchase prices up to 1.5m and 75% LTV between 1.5m and 3.5m. These increases, coupled with Clydesdale’s flexible approach to underwriting, reinforce its strong proposition. It has withdrawn its two and five-year fixed buy-to-let rate at 5.35% and some trackers. I’ve not yet seen the replacements.

    Chelsea withdrew all its fixed rates last week. The email showed us the new rates but only one had an LTV next to it. I know I’m cynical but I like to see fees, LTV and early repayment charges and end dates, otherwise I have to try to remember what these were.

    Many lenders don’t update their websites with their new rates for a few days and leave us in limbo as we can’t be sure about products or discuss them with clients. Tell us the juicy details as soon as possible.

    RBS Intermediary Partners says that despite applications being three times what was expected, service is normal. Fully packaged applications are going to offer within 11 days. It says the week before this announcement, nearly 60% of applications were not packaged correctly.

    The minutes of August’s Monetary Policy Committee meeting show the decision to raise the base rate was a 6-1 majority. Only new member Professor David Blanchflower voted against it because of worries about the labour market.

    Jonathan Cornell is technical director at Hamptons Mortgages