View more on these topics



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.




FSA costs us all half a billion quid – plus the red tape

The Financial Services Authority last week revealed that it is increasing its proposed Annual Funding Requirement for 2011/12 to £500.5m, up from £454.7m in 2010/11, a gross increase of 10.1% Half-a-billion quid. Say it quick and it doesn’t sound that much. The trouble is, it’s half-a-billion quid too much and, in any case, it’s only […]

Jon King

Equity release funds retirement optimism

As any actuary who has worked in equity release will tell you, people with home income plans live longer on average than the population as a whole. It may be tempting to suggest a positive correlation with taking out a product. But the more realistic conclusion is that the sort of person who takes out […]

UK policy: Kate Moss and short-termism

“Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels,” said supermodel Kate Moss, who is not often credited for her insights into policy making. Perhaps she should be. In politics, as in matters of diet, the course of action that is the best over the long term is often not the most desirable course of action in the short term. Add the instant gratification of the democratic electoral cycle and, instead of good policy making, you sometimes get the equivalent to a midnight binge in front of the fridge.

Read more

Important information

Investment risks

The value of an investment and any income from it can fall as well as rise and you may not get back the amount originally invested. Forecasts and past performance are not a guide to future performance. Some information and statistical data herein has been obtained from sources we believe to be reliable but in no way are warranted by us as to their accuracy or completeness. These are Neptune’s views and as such this document is deemed to be impartial research. We do not undertake to advise you of any change to our views.


News and expert analysis straight to your inbox

Sign up