November 27th, 2014
Both Barclays and the Lloyds Banking Group have made significant announcements this week of revisions in their mortgage ranges, increasing competition amid the year end ‘mortgage war’.
Both lenders made moves to slash rates last month, in order to kick start something of a price war amongst mortgage lenders, and both have this week made similar moves to try and sustain business levels as 2014 draws to a close.
Barclays have announced a range of new rates from today, with some being reduced by as much as 0.5%; a move with heightened festive expenditure in mind, says Andy Gray, Managing Director of Mortgages for the bank.
“The lead up to Christmas is typically an expensive time for households – we wanted to do our bit to help people save money with the launch of some of the lowest residential remortgage rates in the market. As well as this, we are looking to help save landlords money too, with rate cuts on our buy-to-Let range”
It is perhaps unsurprising that this comes shortly after news that mortgage approvals in October reached their lowest level for over a year, says Simon Butler of Contractor Mortgages Made Easy.
“Figures released this week have confirmed that mortgage approvals in October were 37,076 – some 16% lower than the previous October, an obvious nod toward April’s Mortgage Market Review” said Butler, a senior consultant at the specialist broker.
“Barclays are traditionally a fairly risk-averse lender so they have probably been hit fairly hard this year and, though no official figures are published, it comes as no surprise that they are again making rates attractive to borrowers. With mortgage rates falling to record lows, and significant growth in the economy predicted for 2015, mortgage lending will surely turn to growth again sooner rather than later.”
Halifax, part of banking giant Lloyds Banking Group, has also this week announced an increased interest in Help to Buy lending, with the bank making the equity share scheme available again through the broker network, a route temporarily blocked earlier this year.
“Halifax restricted access to Help to Buy through brokers in June, in order to allow business levels to mellow, as it was believed they held around 50% of that particular market” said Butler.
“The fact that they have re-opened this route, in addition to increasing the maximum mortgage amount by £100,000 to a quarter-of-a-million, shows that they are hungry for the business again. This in turn means that it is very much ‘fill your boots’ time for mortgage borrowers, as lenders look to maximise their business levels approaching year-end.”
Article By: Mark McBurney, Senior Mortgage Consultant at Contractor Mortgages Made Easy
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