Market Watch

Swaps continued to fall from their recent highs, though I still believe we will have to wait another week or so before lenders start to reduce their fixed rates.
  • One-year money is down 0.03% at 4.63%
  • Two-year money is down 0.03% at 4.62%
  • Three-year money is down 0.02% at 4.64%
  • Five-year money is down 0.01% at 4.64%

Halifax is withdrawing its 4.49% two-year fixed rate tomorrow. Applications must be keyed by 8pm. This rate is being replaced with a 4.74% version. I understand the company’s tracker range is being improved but at the time of writing I have not seen any details of these changes.

Don’t forget to update your Halifax/TMB/Bank of Scotland online systems to take account of the changes.

If you don’t do the update you will struggle to submit business.

After doing the update, you will have to key in precise details of the client’s occupation. I guess this means the end of the era of describing everybody as a ‘professional’.

If you are looking for a buy-to-let portfolio lender it’s well worth checking out The Woolwich as it will lend up to 5m. Its buy-to-let proposition has improved dramatically during the course of the year and now looks pretty good.

The Mortgage Business has launched a few new rates. These include a pair of two-year self-cert fixed rates, 4.95% up to 75% LTV and 4.99% up to 4.99% LTV, and there’s also a one-year fixed rate at 4.85%. All these rates have a 499 completion fee and no ERC overhangs.

Cheltenham & Gloucester is launching a buy-to-let range today. This means that it will no longer offer residential rates to those lucky clients who can prove they have an income big enough to service both loans. I have not had written confirmation yet, but the following are the details to the best of my knowledge. The range is available up to 85% LTV with a 595 fee. The rental calculation is 125% of the pay rate. The applicant needs to have a minimum of 25k personal income. The products are 5.19% two, three, five and seven-year fixed rates, a two-year tracker at 5.19% and a lifetime tracker at 5.29%. Both the trackers come without penalties. There is also a discounted product.

Meanwhile, Bank of Scotland has launched a couple of large loans trackers, base plus 0.35% for life for loans above 500,000, up to 80% with an extra 5% available on drawdown. There are penalties during the first two years and an arrangement fee of 699. And there’s also a version for loans above 2m. Both of these come with the chequebook facility.

BM Solutions has finally withdrawn all of its market leading mainstream range. The two-year fix at 4.09% was pulled last week. I’m sure competitors including Halifax and Bank of Scotland are breathing a hearty sigh of relief now these are gone.

I’d love to know how much business BM Solutions did on these rates – I bet that figure has plenty of noughts at the end!

Abbey has launched a 97% range designed to help first-time buyers. The highlights of the range include two-year trackers starting at 4.74% with a 499 booking fee which can be added to the loan, and a five-year fixed rate at 5.44% with a free valuation, a 250 cashback and a 399 booking fee which can be added to the loanMortgage Express has repriced its core range and also reduced the minimum loan for a buy-to-let deal from 75,000 to 50,000Over in the City, three-month LIBOR is unchanged at 4.62%. The base rate is 4.50% which suggests the market sees little chance of change in the next three months.

And 12-month LIBOR is down 0.02% at 4.66%, indicating the City thinks there is likely to be a 0.25% increase in the base rate in the next 12 months.