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Swaps continued to fall last week. Who knows, maybe we will start to see a few fixed rates coming down. Swaps have managed to edge down about 0.18% since their peak towards the end of January.

• One-year money is down 0.04% at 5.76%

• Two-year money is down 0.04% at 5.65%

• Three-year money is down 0.05% at 5.59%

• Five-year money is down 0.09% at 5.46%

BM Solutions has introduced a selection of rental covers to cater for varying needs. Its range of buy-to-let products is tailored to accommodate 125%, 110% or 100% rental incomes. Also, if the rent confirmed by the valuer is insufficient it will offer an alternative product with a lower tier of rental coverage or a reduced loan amount.

If it cannot contact the broker involved it will proceed with the application on the alternative product but happily amend this if required.

We have all read plenty of letters about Cheltenham & Gloucester’s processing problems. But while its service has been pretty awful, I’m not sure what people were expecting.

When a lender leaves a market-leading rate out for an entire week for brokers to collect applications, offers are not going to be quick – unless it’s a lender like BM Solutions that offers incredible service irrespective of volume. Once the backlog is cleared, its online system is being used and its case tracker system has been launched, I’m sure C&G’s service will return to its usual high standards.

Intelligent Finance has changed its system to allow a range of offsetting options. Clients can now decide whether to use their credit balances to reduce their payments or keep their payments the same and reduce their outstanding debt, thus reducing the term. In the past, savings used to reduce the balance and hence the term as monthly payments did not change. This is a huge step forward and with the competitiveness of its rates and its excellent underwriting and service, IF will start to win business from lenders with flexible mortgages.

Well done to The Mortgage Business which has further extended its House 2 House proposition from two properties to three. Applicants need a minimum income of £50,000 for properties two and three, and this income cannot be based on or include rental income.

Woolwich has changed its system so it pays proc fees weekly, which should help brokers’ cash flows. In case you haven’t noticed, Woolwich has a pretty generous rental calculation at 125% at 5% for individuals. It has also launched a reasonable two-year fixed rate at 5.39%. The application fee for this is £995 and the maximum LTV is 80%. It also features a remortgage package.

On the subject of rental calculations, West Bromwich has changed its from 100% at base plus 1% to 100% at a notional rate of 5.95%. This should help get a few more applications with tight rentals through.

CHL has introduced a 95% self-cert mortgage with no higher lending charge. It is only available to the self-employed and £342,000 is the maximum loan.

The rates are a 6.35% three-year fixed or a base plus 1.3% tracker. There is a 1.25% fee and the proc fee is 0.50%. It’s interesting to watch as criteria are relaxed.

Alliance & Leic-ester has launched a few products. There is a two-year fixed at 4.99% and a one-year fixed rate at base plus 0.74% with a £999 arrangement fee and a maximum loan size of £999,999. There is a broker exclusive for purchases only at 4.99% with a £999 fee, a minimum LTV of 90% and a maximum of 95%. Maximum loan size is £250,000.

There is also a two-year base rate remortgage tracker at 5.13% with a £599 fee, a remortgage package up to £999,999 and a two-year base rate tracker at 4.97%, also with a £599 fee.

It’s good to see A&L pricing great rates available up to £1m as in the past it has made larger deals more expensive.

Jonathan Cornell is technical director at Hamptons Mortgages


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