What the papers say – 12th and 13th April 2014

The implementation of new regulatory rules was once again a focus of this weekend’s financial news. Experts in the Guardian and Observer advised borrowers to reign in their spending for at least 3 months prior to applying for a mortgage, as items not previously seen as a commitment – such as regular payments to streaming services, subscriptions to online games and gambling payments - will now be taken into account.

There was also talk of rising rates, with the Times reporting that lenders including Woolwich, Coventry Building Society and Virgin Money all increased their fixed rates last week, bringing the average 5 year fixed rate to 4.04% - its highest for 12 months. Brokers suggested that lenders are attempting to calm the volume of business while they put new systems and processes in place.

Elsewhere the Sunday Telegraph looked at the widening margin between fixed and tracker rates and the decision faced by borrowers over which rate to opt for. For those struggling with the dilemma, experts advised stress testing the monthly budget to see what impact a rate rise will have.

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