Someone said to me this week its five years since Northern Rock crashed the ‘mortgage boom’ party and to be honest, I did ponder on where those years have gone! Much has changed since 07 and lenders now appear to be run by their credit risk personnel, who in turn report to the Financial Services Authority, our regulators. Let’s be honest, most feel that the FSA now run the lenders too! As a directly authorised mortgage intermediary, we have had our fair share of ‘guidance’ by the regulator and with the fees involved just to trade in the mortgage market, it’s no surprise that so many have jumped ship and started new careers. However, what this has left is huge gaps and I often wonder where the market will be in two or three years time as many more retire and fresh blood seems to be so scarce on the horizon. What will be will be! But in the meantime, there’s no substitute for honest, transparent professional advice and recommendation, based on your exact needs and requirements. Online computer systems just can’t compete with that!
Halifax has launched a 5.89% (APR 6.1%) seven year fixed rate mortgage up to 90 per cent of the property value, exclusively for first time buyers. There is no product fee and customers are eligible to receive £500 towards their moving costs. Might be right for some very cautious people who like to fix payments long term. However, rates are lower on shorter term fixes and with rates predicted to be static for some time, alternative products at the end of the short term are likely to still be more competitive. But, the principle of trying to help First Time Buyers is to be applauded.