What the papers say – 28th and 29th January 2012

The Financial Times reported this weekend on the wide variety of mortgage news over recent weeks. Homeowners can now secure cheaper fixed rate deals than a year ago with some lenders, while others such as Nationwide have increased both tracker and fixed rates. The Times, Sunday Telegraph, Sunday Times and Sunday Express all carried news of the availability of sub-4% 10 year fixed rate deals, and brokers agreed that it was a good way to safeguard against payment becoming unaffordable in the future, as well as stretching the set up costs over a longer time frame. Borrowers do need to be aware of exit fees however, as these tend to be higher than on standard deals. There was good news for First Time Buyers, with the Guardian discussing the return of the 95% mortgage. Lenders including Leeds and Newcastle Building Societies have become the latest to launch these deals aimed at those with small deposits, but brokers warned that half of all First Time Buyers are rejected when applying for 95% deals, largely due to factors including credit scoring and length of employment. Elsewhere the Sunday Times looked at offset mortgages, and in particular whether basic rate taxpayers could be better off by taking advantage of increasing savings rates alongside a more standard mortgage. Brokers suggested that the choice very much depends on individual circumstances such as the amount of savings available and whether there is a requirement to retain access to these savings in the future.

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