Bradford & Bingley highlight fixed rate mortgage "war"

04 August 2005
Bradford & Bingley (B&B) has drawn attention to the continued battle for customers on the fixed rate mortgage front on the high street.

Fixed rates have fallen a number of times over the last few weeks, most notably by Halifax and Nationwide, two of the country's leading mortgage lenders.

Nationwide's fixed rate mortgage has now dropped to 4.39 per cent, while Halifax's stands at 4.29 per cent.

However, Alliance & Leicester have gone one better to 4.24 per cent, while Newcastle recently launched a market-leading two year deal at 4.22 per cent.

BB predicts that more rate cuts are on the cards, but warns consumers to look further than the "headline rate".

Duncan Pownall, mortgage development manager at B&B, said: "Remember that whilst these rates do look attractive, some sport fairly hefty arrangement fees, not always ideal for those with smaller loans.

"The Halifax 4.29 per cent product, for example, costs £599 whilst Nationwide charges up to £484 in fees to remortgage onto their 4.39 per cent fix. This could make switching over to a new fixed rate deal an expensive business for borrowers."

However, the increased competition in the mortgage market place can only be a good thing for consumers, and Mr Pownall also remarked on newer tracker mortgages, such as Abbey's, which is a product starting below the base rate.

"The present fixed rate war though is great news for the 800,000 potential remortgagers who have either come off or are about to come off the cheap fixes this year.

"The watchword now for all borrowers is advice, taking out the right mortgage is key to efficient financial planning," he concluded.

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