What the papers say - 14th and 15th January 2012

Despite an uncertain outlook for the mortgage market and a recent increase in rates by lenders including ING, experts in this weekend’s financial press suggested that there are still competitively priced deals to be found. The Times warned however that borrowers should watch out for extra costs attached to ‘best-buy’ rates, as many lenders have increased arrangement fees in order to spread the cost of the deal.  The Sunday Times reported on predictions by the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR) that base rate will remain at 0.50% until January 2016 at the earliest, which is good news for borrowers who are already on a low tracker deal. Those on a Standard Variable Rate would do well to contact their existing lender, revealed the Sunday Express, as a more competitive product may be available without changing lender. Conditions for First Time Buyers remain tough, but the Sunday Mirror provided the encouraging news that there are a growing number of deals available to those with a smaller deposit. With base rate predicted to remain low, a tracker deal could be an excellent option, but brokers recommended that anyone taking this type of deal should prepare for future rate rises by overpaying or saving separately. Anyone purchasing for the first time should also now be mindful of the end of the stamp duty window, which closes on 24th March. Elsewhere, the Financial Times reported that savongs rates are set to fall below the cheapest mortgage rates this year, as lenders look to bolster their margins to cope with costly credit markets, while the Guardian revealed that HSBC has become the latest lender to announce that borrowers will now have to choose a solicitor from their panel of 43 firms or face paying additional costs by choosing their own.

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