What the papers say- 25th and 26th September 2010

Lenders came under fire this weekend, with both the Mail on Sunday and the Sunday Telegraph discussing accusations of profiteering. Despite the base rate remaining at a record low since last year, mortgage rates have dropped only fractionally, and the average loading on a 2 year tracker is now 3.04%, compared to 0.43% in September 2007, just before the start of the credit crunch. Experts suggested that borrowers should make the most of low rates while they last and overpay where they can. The Sunday Times also urged homeowners to take action and lock into a good deal now; following recent fluctuations in swap rates (wholesale rates that dictate the cost of fixes).  An investigation by the Sunday Mirror also led to criticism of lenders, as banks and building societies gradually tweak their credit systems without having to declare any changes in their lending criteria, resulting in more applications being rejected with little explanation. As argued in the Independent on Sunday, issues like this are precisely the reason why brokers are often useful when trying to find not only the best mortgage deal, but also the most suitable lender.  Elsewhere, the Observer looked at proposals for a voluntary contract that will deter buyers and sellers from pulling out of a purchase prior to exchange of contracts, and the Financial Times carried further coverage of the recent decision by the Lloyds Group to restrict borrowing for landlords with more than 3 properties.

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