One good thing about some of the new tracker rates is that TMW is allowing 20% capital reduction without penalty, a welcome increase on the usual 10%.

At least when Paragon released the details of its new buy-to-let loans we could see the fees as well. While the fees on the new products aren’t low at 2% they are capped at £2,000, which should make them attractive across the whole country, including higher-priced areas.

Paragon rates start at 3.3% for a two-year tracker for a 65% LTV rate. There is a 3.99% two-year tracker at 70% LTV and a 4.6% two-year tracker at 75%.

But it is crucial to note that these track Libor, not the base rate. Borrowers must understand this or you are likely to get a barrage of phone calls every time the Paragon three-month Libor is reset.

There are also some fixed rates, including a two-year at 4.25% for loans up to 65%, a 4.89% rate to 70% and a 5.19% rate up to 75%.

The rental calculation is at 125% of 5%. A borrower can have up to five properties or £1m on these products but the loan must complete by June 2011. Paragon is bringing much-needed competition to the buy-to-let market.

I don’t know much about Leek United Building Society but I’m glad to see it has launched two exclusives via Legal & General mortgage club.

There are two fixed rates, a two-year at 3.25% and a three-year at 3.75%, both available to 75%. They are for purchase and remortgage, with a £995 application fee and £100 payable upfront.

The valuation fee is payable upfront, refunded on completion. There is also a £250 cashback paid to the solicitor on completion.



Hero of the week
is Tiuta, which has a market leading bridging product at 0.89% a month. It’s great to see a lender so supportive of the intermediary sector competing hard and the bridging sector getting so competitive.

Villain of the week
is Christopher Farrell, the former Apprentice contestant who was given a suspended prison sentence for mortgage fraud last week. He may

have been good on TV, but his performance as a broker left a lot to be desired.