What the papers say- 12th and 13th February 2011

The dilemma over whether to switch from a variable to a fixed mortgage has intensified over the past few weeks as lenders have increased their rates, but experts in the this weekend’s financial press advised borrowers not to panic. Brokers in the Sunday Telegraph and Independent on Sunday suggested that market expectation of a rate rise has already had a real impact on mortgage products, but good deals are still available for those looking to fix their payments now. Variable and tracker mortgages are also becoming attractive once again as the gap widens. The Financial Times and Sunday Express revealed good news for current and would-be landlords this week as Kensington became the first lender since the downturn to increase the maximum loan-to-value on their buy-to-let mortgages to 85%. Brokers claimed that the increasing number of new deals stems from good rental income, which is set to continue as First Time Buyers struggle to get on the ladder themselves. In other news the Sunday Times and Observer both reported on the summit to be held this week by housing minister Grant Shapps in an effort to improve conditions. Housebuilders are calling for the return of Mortgage Indemnity Guarantees as a way of enabling FTB’s to secure higher loan-to-value mortgages, but experts say this is unlikely to provide a quick fix. Elsewhere the Mail on Sunday looked at Critical illness policies, and in particular the automatic cover provided for children, while the Sunday Mirror went for a Valentine’s theme, providing advice for young couples living together for the first time.

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