What the papers say - 17th and 18th January 2009

Mortgage-related articles were overshadowed this weekend by features on tax returns, savings rates and with-profit endowments, despite some lenders introducing new rates and experts dividing opinion about what sort of mortgage to go for. The Financial Times revealed that changes in the market mean landlords find it hard to find a decent deal. As well as charging higher rates, many buy-to-let landlords have lowered their maximum loan-to-values and introduced tougher lending criteria. The Independent stressed the importance of shopping around for the best deal and using a broker for advice. The Sunday Times had a feature urging readers to ignore all the usual mortgage advice and to explore several options. Expert suggestions included staying on the SVR, considering a fixed rate, break the current contract and to source secret deals with an existing lender. The paper also looked at how state-owned Northern Rock has an uncompetitive SVR, despite the government asking all lenders to bring their SVR’s down. Finally, the Sunday Express advised borrowers to consider a fixed rate as there are many deals available sub 4.5 per cent, which reportedly, is reasonable by anyone’s standards.

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