What the papers say- 12th and 13th December 2009

This weekend’s financial press was largely taken up with coverage of last week’s Pre-Budget Report, and the Sunday Times, amongst others, took a general look at the impact of the proposed changes on high earners, public sector workers, pensioners and homebuyers. As expected, the Chancellor confirmed that he will not be extending the stamp duty holiday, so from January 1st it will return to its previous level of £125,000, and as the Sunday Telegraph pointed out, anyone currently in the process of buying a property will need to complete this month in order to save up to £1750 in stamp duty tax.

Fixed rates were once again a hot topic with the Telegraph revealing that more than 1 in 5 homeowners have opted for these deals amidst fears that Government borrowing may force interest rates up. In fact, as the Independent on Sunday discussed, many big name lenders have recently cut their fixed rates, so now is a good time to secure a competitive rate if security of payment is a priority. The Mail on Sunday looked at longer term fixed rates as a more cost effective option, with experts urging borrowers to consider not just the interest rate charged but also the fees involved to get an idea of the total cost of a deal.

Elsewhere the Financial Times looked at whether private banks can offer a better deal to borrowers with a mortgage over £1million, and the Independent on Sunday discussed house swapping as an alternative for home owners who are struggling to sell their property in the current climate.

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