What the papers say – 7th to 11th September 2013

The financial press urged borrowers this weekend to act swiftly and secure a record-low mortgage rate before it is too late. Experts in the Times and Sunday Times suggested that a recent increase in swap rates – the rates at which financial institutions borrow from each other – is likely to result in mortgage rates increasing. Problems with strict lending criteria can present barriers to changing mortgage however, and the Telegraph reported on the problems still being experienced by interest only borrowers. Brokers say that this can be appropriate mortgage structure for some, but lenders are failing to take account of individual circumstances, Estimates suggest there are between 2.5m and 4m interest only mortgages in the UK, and many are trapped with their existing lender. Age can also be a restriction, as the Financial Times revealed that both Skipton and Newcastle Building Societies cut their maximum lending age last week. Borrowers must now be no more than 75 at the end of the mortgage term, further reducing the number of lenders available to older borrowers. The midweek press took a more positive turn with the Daily Mail reporting that, whilst the number of 95% LTV deals has dropped since last year, the introduction of the next phase of the Government’s Help to Buy scheme could see these figures start to improve, which will be good news for First Time Buyers in particular.

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