Market Watch

For most of last week, swaps continued to fall from their recent highs but towards the end of the week they edged back up a bit.
  • One-year money is up 0.01% at 4.64%
  • Two-year money is up 0.02% at 4.64%
  • Three-year money is up 0.02% at 4.66%
  • Five-year money is unchanged at 4.64%

It’s still too early for any significant rate cuts but the usual suspects are keeping us busy with their changes.

Platform has launched an excellent self-cert buy-to-let product. While The Mortgage Business has a version of this product, the Platform variety has no MIG, even at 85% LTV. It has two and three-year fixed rates of 5.75% up to 75% LTV and 5.85% up to 85% LTV, and a term tracker at 5.79% up to 75% LTV and 5.89% up to 85% LTV.

Most annoying last week was Cheltenham & Gloucester. Not only is its latest product guide verging on the ridiculous but it was also strange to receive an email from it talking about the number of stars it won at a service awards bash when it can’t even email us to tell us when its rates change.

Meanwhile, the launch of its new buy-to-let proposition has been delayed. The launch date is supposed to be this week, but I’d hold off selling anything until we have something a bit more concrete than the usual phone call.

I was also surprised to read about C&G’s plans to create an intermediary sales force. I thought it already had one. I have C&G business cards featuring titles of ‘intermediary sales manager’. Am I going mad?

Accord Mortgages has made its LTV bandings a bit more generous. For loans up to 85% LTV it will lend up to 625,000 (previously 500,000). Up to 100% LTV it will lend up to 300,000 (previously 250,000) and for professional 100% plus LTV loans it will lend up to 350,000 (previously 300,000).

The number of two-year fixed rates available below 4.50% is dwindling rapidly. I think the C&G one will go next despite its email bravado of a few weeks ago. There aren’t many five-year fixed rates available below 4.75% either.

Bank of Scotland has finally withdrawn its two-year fixed rate of 4.49% and the large loans two-year deal fixed at 4.39%, along with the rest of its mainstream and large loans rates.

Lambeth has launched a three-year fixed rate at 4.54% and Northern Rock repriced again. It kept us far too busy during November. It has increased its fixed range by between 0.05% and 0.10%. The core flexible two-year fixed rate is now 4.74%. The 3.99% two-year fixed deal has not changed.

Well done to Bank of Ireland which has reduced its standard range. Two and three-year fixed rates are down to 4.69% and the two and three-year fixed, fees assisted remortgages are now 4.99%

Skipton is rumoured to be cutting its fixed rates next week. It is a good lender for larger loans and has been happy with generous income stretches recently.

Mortgage Trust has decided to keep its MT Select fixed rates on hold until the end of December. So the three-year buy-to-let fixed rate at 4.55% lives on for another month.

The Woolwich has launched some buy-to-let rates. These include a lifetime tracker at 0.89% plus base for loans up to 75%, a 0.99% switch and save tracker for loans up to 75% LTV and a set of stepped trackers with year-one headline rates starting at base plus 0.49%. Don’t forget, the rental calculation is based on the year one pay rate.

Meanwhile, over in the City three-month LIBOR is down 0.01% at 4.61%. The base rate is 4.50% so the market sees little chance of a change in the next three months. And 12-month LIBOR is down 0.04% to 4.62%, a move which indicates that the City thinks there could be a 0.25% rise in the base rate in the next 12 months.