The ‘January sales’ have hit the mortgage market over the last couple of weeks, with banks such as HSBC offering discounted rates and reduced fees in a bit to attract customers. The Financial Times and Sunday Times warned borrowers that these products may still not be the best deals available, and experts advised consumers to search the whole market before signing up.
Standard Variable Rates were a hot topic in this weekend’s press, with the Independent on Sunday, Mail on Sunday and Sunday Express all discussing the recent increase in SVR by lenders such as the Marsden and Mansfield Building Societies. Other lenders could potentially follow suit over the coming months, so experts advised borrowers on an SVR above 4% to consider taking a new deal, especially as there are a number of competitive lifetime tracker deals currently on the market with low or no Early Repayment Charges.
Elsewhere, the Telegraph looked at recent figures released by Halifax which show that properties are now affordable for those on average earnings in 39% of local authority districts, compared to just 6% in 2007. Despite an improvement in rates and prices however, experts say that securing a mortgage is still difficult for First Time Buyers, with lenders requiring larger deposits and near perfect credit scores.