Market Watch

Swaps fell sharply last week with the longer term swaps falling much further than the shorter ones. Hopefully this should mean the end of lenders repricing their fixed rates upwards for a while and if we see more falls in the future we may see some cuts. However, my guess is we\'re a couple of weeks away from that at the moment.

  • One-year money is down 0.04% at 5.20%
  • Two-year money is down 0.12% at 5.14%
  • Three-year money is down 0.14% at 5.13%
  • Five-year money is down 0.15% at 5.07%

    The momentum for Unipass is starting to grow and we need to lobby all of our lenders to support it. Hopefully we will see some lenders starting to implement it before the end of the year. While it will cost them to implement it, this investment will be recouped quickly when they see a huge reduction in the number of phone calls to their helpdesk from brokers who have forgotten their passwords or lost their log in details.

    It will make brokers lives infinitely better. Any lenders building their on-line propositions should look at this as soon as possible as it is much easier for them to build it in from the start.

    While I understand why lenders launch direct-only products, when I read about Nat-West’s new rates on Mortgage Strategy’s website there was nothing to say they were direct- only. On checking, we were supposed to realise these rates were direct-only as it did not say ‘for intermediaries’. NatWest has some excellent looking buy-to-let tracker products which brokers can’t access. But it’s useful to know about these kinds of products even when we can’t use them as there is always some client who thinks they know more than we do.

    Halifax continues to try to make life easier for brokers. It has simplified its income reasonability checks. This should mean more cases go through without intervention. It will also ensure any information required is requested on the next working day, following receipt of the application. Halifax continues to offer its outstanding two-year fixed rate at 4.49% with the 1,499 fee. Sadly it is only available to 60%. I guess if this was increased to 90% it would get more business than it could process efficiently.

    Don’t forget to register for edeus on its website. With just over a couple of weeks until its launch, I’m sure its proposition will be one that we will all be using a lot.

    Cheltenham & Gloucester launched some fixed rates just for intermediaries. There is a two-year fixed rate at 4.85%, a three-year fixed rate at 4.99% and a five-year fixed rate at 5.09%. All these are available to 90% and the fees are 799 for purchases and remortgages. The two-year fix is ok, but the three and five-year fixed rates are good. Its penalty-free two-year tracker at base plus 0.14% is now again available to 90%.

    For buy-to-let applications the rental calculation has been amended to 125% at 5.84%. As I’ve said before about other lenders, I wish the product email it sent had listed the fees as well as the rates and other relevant details.

    Northern Rock launched a guide to finding its products on sourcing systems. It explained which filters would exclude and include its products. But with the recent falls in swaps I was surprised to see it issue a rate withdrawal warning. All its current rates, including the two-year flexible fixed rate at 4.99%, may be withdrawn at short notice.

    Woolwich re-launched its excellent lifetime track- er at 0.19% above base. It is available to 80% LTV with no application fee and no early redemption charges. It also has a fees-free re-mortgage facility. I wish Woolwich would not send its rate updates with a table showing how much cheaper its rates are compared with its competitors. Other lenders don’t send emails saying how much quicker their service is.

    Royal Bank of Scotland Intermediary Partners has hiked its five-year fixed rates. The RBS and First Active five-year fixed rates have gone up from 5.19% to 5.40%.