A number of UK lenders have followed in the footsteps of HSBC and Bank of Scotland and started cutting mortgage rates in a bid to get the housing market moving again. Furthermore, these lenders are voicing their intentions to help first time buyers get on the property ladder.
Barclays, First Direct, Halifax, Leeds Building Society, Lloyds TSB and NatWest are amongst those to announce reductions in mortgage rates over the coming months.
Barclays has just announced that it will lower six fixed rate products by up to 0.30%. The bank also revealed it will introduce a two-year fixed mortgage at 3.29% with no application fee for those with a 30% deposit.
Andy Gray, head of mortgages at Barclays, said: “We have decided to introduce a market leading package for customers purchasing a house to help lower the upfront costs and get a really competitive rate. We have recently seen an improvement in the SWAP rates and so we’ve taken the opportunity to pass these benefits on to customers by reducing some of our more popular fixed rates to give them some great deals, including a five-year fixed rate below 4%, the lowest we’ve offered this year.”
First Direct has reduced rates on all of its standard and fee-free products.
Halifax and Lloyds have just reduced rates on their products. NewBuy and new build mortgages have been cut by up to 0.20%. As of this Friday (Aug 3rd), first time buyers with a 10% deposit will have access to mortgages which come with a £1,000 cash back sweetener. Lloyds has also announced its intention to lend £5billion to first time buyers by the end of the year and help over 50,000 people to buy their first property.
Meanwhile, the Leeds Building Society has cut the rate on its two-year fixed buy to let mortgages to 3.99%, available up to 65% LTV. There’s no higher lending charge and 10% capital repayments are permitted each year without penalty.
Kim Rebecchi, Leeds Building Society sales and marketing director remarked: “We believe it’s a very good time to look into a low fixed rate, and have reduced the rate by 0.36% on the two-year buy to let deal to a new market leading rate of 3.99%. This flat free product will attract professional landlords, who may wish to move on to a market leading rate and fix their monthly commitments.”
NatWest is reportedly the latest lender to enter what is being described as a high street bidding war. The lender is now offering a five-year fixed rate mortgage at 2.95%, in line with the likes of HSBC and Santander.
According to reports on the BBC News site, wet weather slowed the mortgage market in June. Figures from the British Bankers’ Association (BBA), revealed the number of mortgages approved for house purchases fell by 11% in June compared with May.
Source: Property Wire, Barclays, Guardian, HSBC.