There is a lot happening in the mortgage market as we move into the last month of the year! Where have the last eleven months gone?
Good news in that lenders are looking to expand their distribution offerings to a wider market as both Kensington Mortgages and Saffron Building Society launch new products into the intermediary market. Both have various niches and are looking at a number of new products. Saffron, for example, have no redemption penalties on their products, so a customer can leave or overpay at will. These include Residential, Rent to Buy for First Time Buyers, Buy to Lets and Self Build Projects. Seek advice though!
On the other side, there was another nail in the coffin for Interest Only this week as both NatWest and Royal Bank of Scotland cease to offer new interest-only mortgages from Monday 3rd December. This does not affect existing customers or their Buy to Let mortgages.
Many lenders still offer Interest Only as an option, however we are slowly seeing it eradicated from the high street lenders. For the right situation and right scenario, Interest Only works, but it really does look like it is going to be an option only available through the smaller lenders and at a low loan to value soon.
The price war continues as we see lenders offering competitive rates, but this time on a ‘fire sale’ type basis. Santander issued some sub 2% fixed rates via brokers, for just 7 days! This has now been followed by Accord Mortgages who have launched some attractive options, but for a period of just 10 days. Do keep an eye on our shop front in the Carfax, if you are local, as we promote these opportunities in our window. If they are right for you, you will need to act fast as when they are gone, they are gone!
Finally, news just reaching me as I write this column is that the Bank of England has decided on Sir Mervyn Kings successor. Bank of Canada Governor Mark Carney will take over the post in June 2013. Personally I welcome someone external to take over the role as it does need a good shake up and a little modernisation! However, there’s no denying that the job in hand is huge and the new Governor will need to settle in quickly to the tasks at hand, including financial stability, regulation and monetary policy.