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Market watch 23.03.09

Swaps had a mixed week. At the beginning of the week they surged before settling back slightly. Shorter-term money edged lower than the previous week whereas longer-term rates increased. Three-month LIBOR is now 1.81%.
1-year money is down 0.07% at 1.71%
2-year money is up 0.01% at 2.21%
3-year money is up 0.06% at 2.52%
5-year money is up 0.07% at 3%

I have not had a chance to fully digest the Turner Review but it seems the Financial Services Authority will be taking a much closer look at the mortgage market and publishing the results in September – and they will be taking a keen look at LTVs and income multiples.

Northern Rock has launched a new broker exclusive, a two-year fixed rate at 3.69% up to 65% LTV with £1,995 product fee. This has a maximum loan size of £1m and comes fees free for remortgages.

Woolwich made a number of changes to its online system including the introduction of a withdrawal fee of £150 if the mortgage does not complete.

It has sensibly explained some details for minimum disposable income figures whereby a single applicant will require £551 per month, two or more applicants will require £715 per month and each dependant will require £121 per month.

So in other words based on these new figures, a family of two adults and two children would require a disposable income of £957 per month.

If you have the chance check – it’s an excellent sourcing system and even better, it’s free.

Why do lenders make it so complex to see their new rates? The Mortgage Works launched some new rates, but rather than using the email to tell us what the rates were, we had to click on the link. This tried to open a new browser page to download the attachment, but my browser blocked this and asked if I wanted to download the attachment. Once I had said yes, I then had to click open or save with the Adobe attachment.

Maybe I am being picky but couldn’t they have put the 79 words that eventually appeared in the original email?

It would save brokers lots of time, but no doubt it would deny TMW lots of useful info about how many people click through and how long they spend on the website.

Once I read the product info I found out there’s a new 4.99% two-year buy-to-let fixed rate for loans up to 70% with a 3.5% fee, and an ‘easy remortgage version’ at 5.34%. The two-year fixed self-cert rates have gone up by 0.25% and all the three-year fixed self-cert rates have gone.

Nationwide seems to be going down the same road with its email communication but at least the changes it made took rather more than 79 words.

It has introduced some new 75-80% and 80-85% LTV tiers for purchase only, the lowest headline rate for a two-year fixed rate at 80% is 5.48% with a £995 fee and the 85% version is 5.83%. New borrowers are now able to take tracker products up to 80% LTV.

But the pay rates do seem rather high, base plus 4.58% with a £995 fee. Nationwide has also increased the cost of its two and three-year fixed and tracker rates for remortgages and subsequent additional borrowing.

The 60% LTV two-year tracker remortgage rate with £995 fee is now a mere base plus 2.93%

Scottish Widows has improved its lifetime offering range and called it a Property Account. If you offer lifetime loans it’s well worth checking it out as it looks pretty good with plenty of flexibility and choice for borrowers.

Both Halifax and Bank of Scotland have changed their criteria so ERCs can no longer be capitalised onto the mortgage balance when opting out of an existing mortgage deal. The SVR will also not be available for customers completing a product transfer or taking additional borrowing.


Dunfermline fails to quash bailout rumours

Jim Willens, chief executive of Dunfermline says the society will not be making any comment on speculation that it’s seeking a bailout after reported losses of up to £26m.

FSA raps broker for self-cert failings

The Financial Services Authority has censured Doncaster mortgage broking firm Mortgages Remortgages Ltd for exposing up to 80 of its customers to the risk of self-cert mis-selling.

Warning not to ignore internet benefits

Evaluate Technologies claims that brokers who fail to harness the opportunities presented by the internet could be hampered in the future.

Support for FSA to regulate secured loans

Loan Options says it supports the Association of Finance Brokers’ call for the Financial Services Authority to regulate the secured loan market.


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