Mortgages  

Skipton BS in fee-free offer on 3- and 5-year fixes

Skipton Building Society has launched a new range of two, three and five-year fixed-rate mortgages with a choice of fee and rate blends aimed to maximise flexibility.

A three-year fix at 3.15 per cent up to 85 per cent loan to value, and a five-year fix at 4.09 per cent up to 90 per cent LTV, are among the loans available without a product fee.

For remortgage customers, the fee-free options include a three-year fix at 2.48 per cent up to 60 per cent LTV, and a five-year fix at 2.89 per cent up to 70 per cent LTV.

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The range offers customers options at 50, 60, 70, 75, 80, 85 and 90 per cent LTV.

A product fee of £995 is applicable to two-year deals. Customers have a choice of no fee or £995 on the three-year fixes and £0, £995 and £1,995 on the five-year fixed options.

The range, which is available for purchases and remortgages, also offers overpayment of up to 10 per cent a year without penalty. Remortgages also have free standard legal work and valuations.

In January, the lender unveiled its lowest ever fixed mortgage interest rate at 1.36 per cent up to 50 per cent LTV with a £995 fee.

It also reduced all core residential two-year fixes from 50 per cent to 90 per cent LTV on a total of 26 purchase and remortgage products.

Provider view:

Kris Brewster, head of products at Skipton, said, “We’re pleased to offer this new product range, which, as always, offers fee and rate options to suit a number of different borrower requirements.

“These mortgage products have an emphasis on offering wide choice and good value. We’re continuing to lend strongly, in line with our commitment to doing everything to help borrowers, and the ongoing popularity of our products is a reflection of that.”

Adviser view:

Daniel Bailey, mortgage broker at Derbyshire-based Middleton Finance, said, “At the 90 per cent loan to value end of the market anything fee-free helps clients.

“The rate is competitive with anything else out there – particularly at the 90 per cent level, especially if it is a fee-free deal.

“Deals of this type are now more common at the 60 per cent loan to value end of the market, so it is nice to see it at 90 per cent. We welcome anything fee-free at 90 per cent loan to value.”

Charges:

Ranging from £0 to £1,995. Early repayment charges are applicable.

Verdict:

Fee-free is always a pleasing sign for advisers and their clients, but as advisers will know, a cautious approach is important as the devil is in the detail. On the surface, this deal appears to signal a loosening of the mortgage market with more favourable terms applying at high LTV levels. A fee-free fix at 4.09 per cent for five years may seem almost too good to be true when considering just how cautious lenders have been regarding loans at that level of LTV since the credit crunch.

But, since the fondly-remembered days of former chief executive Terry Adams, Skipton has been a bit of a crowd pleaser and has traditionally offered market-leading products. So there may be some legitimate hope that this is the start of a trend.