Mortgages  

Skipton drops fees on fixes

Skipton Building Society has unveiled two- and five-year fixes without product fees, as well as cuts across its range of fixed rate mortgages.

For homebuyers with a 15 per cent deposit, two-year fixes are available at 2.30 per cent with a £995 product fee. The rate for the fee-free option is 3.05 per cent.

At 90 per cent LTV, three- and five-year fixes are available at 3.99 per cent and 4.39 per cent respectively, both with no fee.

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The lender said that the new residential range offers fee and rate blends to maximise choice and flexibility.

For remortgage customers, a rate of 1.99 per cent applies to two-year fixes at 60 per cent LTV, fee-free, while the rate for three-year fixes is 2.38 per cent – again, without a product fee.

At 70 per cent LTV, the rate is 1.70 per cent for two-year fixes.

In May, Skipton Intermediaries launched a dedicated new-build proposition with a number of new products and criteria.

The provider now lends at up to 90 per cent LTV on houses and 85 per cent LTV on flats.

The products all include free upfront valuations and, in some cases, up to £1,000 cashback on completion.

Provider view

Kris Brewster, the mutual’s head of products, said: “These latest reductions in our fixed rates come as Skipton continues to add value to its mortgage range. In the past few months we have removed all upfront application fees, seen large reductions on our rates, and increased brokers’ residential procuration fees to 0.40 per cent.

“We are also delighted that Skipton Intermediaries have been ranked third by brokers in the latest Mortgage Strategy quarterly survey. We believe that this is a great indication that our Real Life Lending proposition is resonating with our broker partners.

“Skipton’s clear message is that we want to offer new and existing customers the most competitive rates and the best levels of service to enable them to complete their purchase or remortgage in the quickest possible timescale.”

Adviser view

Tim O’Neill, director at Northamptonshire-based DWIFA Mortgages Services, said: “Having a fee-free option is ideal, but whether or not a customer should choose it depends on the size of the loan. It makes sense to choose the product fee option with a lower rate of interest for high value loans.

“Three-year loans have become more common. For many, five years is considered too long, and three years is long enough.

“There has been a lot of competition in the mortgage market, showing that lender confidence has been restored following the economic crisis.”

He added: “The criteria for mortgages is at a fair level at the moment, and have been made more transparent and easier to understand.”

Charges

Charges for these products range from £0-£995.

Verdict

A lot has been said about the intensity of competition in the mortgage market. Lender confidence has been resurgent following the recent economic crisis, highlighted by the growth of the number of lenders designing products for borrowers