Raising Mortgage Rates In Britain

Here’s a report:

Halifax has become the latest lender to announce it is repricing its mortgage range.

The group said it was cutting the cost of some of its deals, while raising the rates charged on two of its fixed-rate products from this Friday.

It is also expanding the range of mortgages it offers to people borrowing 60% or less of the value of their home.

The UK’s largest mortgage lender said it would only reveal full details of the changes it is making on Friday.

But a note circulated among mortgage brokers showed that it is introducing two and three-year tracker deals for people with at least a 40% deposit of 5.99% with a £999 arrangement fee. It is also reducing the cost of five-year trackers arranged through brokers by 0.35% to 6.09%.

Three and five-year fixed-rate loans for people borrowing up to 75% of the value of their property are being cut by 0.22% and 0.35% to 6.22% and 6.09% respectively.

But homebuyers with a loan to value ratio of between 75% and 90% will have to pay 0.1% more for a three-year fixed-rate deal at 6.74% following the changes.

The group is also adjusting rates for mortgages arranged through its branches, although details of these changes were not available.

The move comes after a host of mortgage lenders announced hikes to their fixed-rate deals during the past couple of weeks.

Barclays’ lending arm the Woolwich and Nationwide raised their fixed rates by up to 0.3%, while Bradford & Bingley increased its deals by up to 0.55% and Abbey has hiked some of its deals by 0.26%.


SAN FRANCISCO (MarketWatch) — Moody’s Investors Service on Tuesday placed Yum Brands’s (YUM) senior unsecured debt rating of Baa2 and guaranteed senior unsecured debt rating of Baa1 on review for a possible downgrade. "The review for possible downgrade was prompted by Yum’s weaker than expected debt protection metrics and Moody’s view that they may not materially improve over the intermediate term," said the ratings agency in a statement. The review will focus on the impact of operating performance, capital structure, and financial policies on debt protection metrics in the longer term, it said.


Housebuilders will be required to tell mortgage lenders about any incentives they have given homebuyers, under changes designed to reduce the chance of new-build properties falling into negative equity.

Announced today, the measures are a result of lenders’ concerns that they could be offering mortgages based on a valuation of a property that is higher than they amount paid by the buyer.

There have also been concerns that in some cases builders have been artificially inflating prices so that they can advertise discounts to potential buyers.

The Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) said the changes, which will be introduced in September, would ensure that the valuation and conveyancing process would capture the true value of a property, reducing the risk of negative equity for both the lender and the borrower.

Any builder or developer selling a newly built, converted or renovated home will be obliged to complete a form disclosing what incentives have been give to the buyer.

The CML’s director general, Michael Coogan, said the measures were designed to sustain confidence in the new-build market.

"Lenders need to know about discounts and other incentives so they can be sure that the decision to offer a mortgage is based on a reliable valuation of the property," he said.

"The new measures will provide additional security and safeguards for borrowers, as well as lenders."

Against a backdrop of falling house prices, lenders have become increasingly nervous about offering mortgages on new-build properties, and some have even withdrawn from lending on new-build city centre flats following sharp price falls.

About Luke Ford

Raised a Seventh-Day Adventist at Avondale College in Australia, Luke Ford moved to California in 1977. He graduated from Placer High School in 1984, reported the news at KAHI/KHYL radio for three years, attended Sierra College and UCLA, was largely bedridden by Chronic Fatigue Syndrome for six years, and converted to Judaism in 1993. From 1997-2007, Luke made his living from blogging. Living by Beverly Hills (Alexander90210.com), he now teaches the Alexander Technique (moving the way the body likes to move). Lessons cost $100 each and last about 45 minutes. In 2011, Luke completed a three-year teaching course at the Alexander Training Institute of Los Angeles. His personal Alexander Technique website is Alexander90210.com. Luke is the author of five books, including: » The Producers: Profiles in Frustration » Yesterday’s News Tomorrow: Inside American Jewish Journalism
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