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Remortgage Renaissance


Apparently, according to some sources, remortgaging is now back in vogue and enjoying somewhat of a renaissance as it is officially now the case that remortgage products are cheaper than most lenders Standard Variable Rates.

Some of us have already been talking about this since the start of the year, and it is nice to be backed up by some weighty reports., for example, have stated that even when taking the new mortgage product arrangement fees into account the “best” fixed rate and the “best” tracker product over 2 years will beat the majority of lenders SVR’s.

With a lot of publicity around those mortgage lenders who have already increased their SVR’s recently and other lenders rumoured to be following suit, many borrowers are looking to mitigate the risk of further rises and taking advantage of some great fixed rate product offerings.

Others are finally jumping on the much trumpeted Offset bandwagon, with offset tracker rates below 3% currently this is a marvellous time to really make the offset work and shed years off the mortgage term.

Of course, it is important to note that whilst this is the case, generally speaking this only applies to those with at least 25% equity in their properties. Whilst this area of the mortgage market will always have the very best headline rates, the continued squeezing of lenders in this area has meant that some are beginning to look further afield for higher margins.

We have therefore seen not just an increase in mortgage products available at higher loan-to-values, with 90% LTV looking like the new 100% LTV, but also lenders are returning to the large loan and buy-to-let arenas.

The buy-to-let mortgage market is most interesting, as this seems to have started to return much quicker than many expected with lenders such as BM Solutions and The Mortgage Works actively looking for new business. BM Solutions have also made a tentative step at reducing the high percentage  Arrangement Fees that discouraged many and have reintroduced products with competitive rates and much lower, flat Arrangement Fees.

There is however, one potential drawback of this policy. The cost to lenders in terms of capital adequacy requirements of lending in perceived “riskier” areas or at higher LTV’s, means that overall lenders may have to lend less in pure volume terms. This is a worrying thought as lenders are not exactly throwing their, or rather our, money around at the moment.

Overall, it is nice to have a broader spread of mortgage products back and I suspect that lending will continue to ease, albeit it slowly over the remainder of the year. Whether rates remain this low remains to be seen, however, and I do believe that the first half of this year will be the best time to remortgage, potentially for quite a while.

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