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18/12/2008

Expensive fixed mortgages only option for many

Fixed rate mortgages now account for 69% of the market, compared to 51% this time last year.

Despite a 2.61 percentage point drop in the two year swap rate between 1 October and today, the average two year fixed rate mortgage has only dropped by 0.71 percentage points.

Read More

12/12/2008

Tracker mortgages fail to make reappearance

Last week, the Bank of England slashed the base rate again in an attempt to kick start the economy, but after three strikes by the committee, it is clear that we have seemingly reached a dead-end on the industry’s favourable response to it.

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04/12/2008

Bank of England cuts interest rates to 2%

Bank of England has cut interest rates from 3% to 2% - the lowest level in more than half a century. The move has been welcomed by many commentators who said the cut would help the slowing economy.

Bank of England Base rate Novemeber 2008

03/12/2008

Moneyfacts.co.uk – Base Rate Reduction Payment Reckoner

 With the Bank of England expected to reduce the level of UK interest rates at their next meeting, moneyfacts have produced a payment table to show the impact that the rate reduction will have on your mortgage payments.

Read more

03/12/2008

Shock base rate cut – one month on

Today we can get a better picture of how the shock 1.50% cut in base rate last month affected the mortgage and savings markets and it doesn’t make for good reading.

75% of mortgage lenders failed to pass the 1.50% cut on in full to their SVR, but 92% of providers passed the cut on in full or more to their savings rates.

Read more

27/11/2008

Rate of price fall moderates in November

  • Prices fall by 0.4% in November
  • Annual rate of fall moderates to 13.9%
  • Deep interest rate cuts will provide support for borrowers 
  • Fiscal measures may help housing market indirectly, but policies to support funding markets may be more likely to speed recovery

Headlines

November 2008

October 2008

Monthly index * Q1 '93 = 100

317.8

319.2

Monthly change*

-0.4%

-1.3%

Annual change

-13.9%

-14.6%

Average price

£158,442

£158,872

* seasonally adjusted

Commenting on the figures Fionnuala Earley, Nationwide's Chief Economist, said:

“The rate of house price falls moderated significantly in November.  Prices fell by just 0.4% in the month compared with 1.3% in October. This brings the annual rate of house price falls to 13.9%, down from 14.6% last month.  The price of a typical house is now £158,442.  This is about £25,000 less than this time last year but is
still about £25,000 higher than in November 2003.

Read more

27/11/2008

Savers left out in the cold

So far, rates have been cut on just 22% of variable rate savings products, with most providers opting to pass on the full 1.50% cut or more.

If the remaining providers pass the cut on in full, then based on a £5K balance we could potentially end up with 12% of the market paying no interest whatsoever, 27% paying a rate of less than 1% and a staggering 52% paying a rate of 2% or less.

Read more

19/11/2008

Mortgage borrowers still not feeling benefits of cuts

In the last two months the Bank of England has slashed base rate in an attempt to kick start the economy, but borrowers are still not feeling any real benefits as margins continue to increase and ever bigger deposits are needed to get the best mortgage deals.

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18/11/2008

Overdraft rates soar

Despite a 2.75% cut in base rate in the space of a year, overdraft rates have continued to increase, with Yorkshire Bank and Clydesdale Bank increasing rates by as much as 7.31%.

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12/11/2008

Lenders not reducing fixed rate mortgages

Customers with fixed rate mortgages are paying nearly twice the cost to lenders of funding on the money markets.

Today the average two-year fixed rate is 6.13%, compared with two-year swap rate at just 3.61%.

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11/11/2008

Moneyfacts SVR mortgage survey

Around one in ten current mortgage borrowers are on their lender’s standard variable rate (SVR). Some are as a result of having a small mortgage, while others who have come to the end of an existing deal may not have had enough equity in their home to find any alternative.

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06/11/2008

Hats off to Lloyds TSB on bold decision

Darren Cook, mortgage expert at Moneyfacts.co.uk, comments:

“Congratulations must go out to Lloyd TSB and Cheltenham & Gloucester for making a bold statement earlier today, pledging that they will cut their standard variable rate (SVR) in full in line with the Bank of England rate cut. Hats off to them for not reneging on this pledge after the announcement of the unpredicted 1.50% base rate cut. They will drop their rate to 5.00% with effect from 1 December.

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30/10/2008

Mortgage rate cuts reach dead-end

Half of mortgage lenders have failed to pass on recent base rate cuts to their standard variable rates (SVR). There is a strong indication that the majority of these have no intention of cutting their SVR and an even stronger possibility that lenders have reached a plateau and are simply unable to cut rates further.

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28/10/2008

Stick or twist – The first time buyer gamble

First time buyers who delay their decision to get on to the property ladder could find market conditions have moved in their favour, and not just because falling house prices mean they will need to borrow less money.

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27/10/2008

Tracker rates at 2007 level, despite base rate cut

The average rate on base rate trackers is at the same level as this time last year, despite a 1.25% cut in base rate.

In October 2007, the average rate on a tracker mortgage stood at 6.23%. Today it stands at 6.27%.

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27/10/2008

Banks shore up finances at expense of customers

Since the Bank of England announced its 0.50% reduction in base rate, 38% on savings provider have now announced a cut in rates compared to 44% of mortgage lenders.

With the exception of Ruffler Bank, which has announced it is maintaining existing rates; nearly all the savings providers have cut their rates by the full 0.50%.

Read more

21/10/2008

Base rate cut not passed on by three quarter of mortgag lenders

Darren Cook, mortgage expert at Moneyfacts.co.uk, comments:

“Two weeks after the Monetary Policy Committee announced a shock 0.5 percent cut to the base rate in unison with key central banks around the globe, more than three quarters of all UK lenders have yet to pass on this reduction to their ever growing number of standard variable rate mortgage customers.

Read more

14/10/2008

Inflation wipes out savings interest

Michelle Slade, analyst at Moneyfacts.co.uk, comments:

“A combination of inflation at 5.2% and tax means that savers will now find it near impossible to earn interest on their money.

“A standard rate tax payer needs to find an account paying 6.50%, while a high rate tax payer needs to earn a rate of 8.63%.

Read more

13/10/2008

Moneyfacts comments on the Governments bank rescue

Darren Cook, Head of Press at Moneyfacts.co.uk, comments:

“Moneyfacts supports the unprecedented action announced by the Government this morning. These actions further demonstrate that Downing Street will indeed take any action that is needed to try and return the banking system to a level of normality.

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13/10/2008

Bank of England base rate update

Michelle Slade, analyst at Moneyfacts.co.uk, comments:

Mortgages

“So far just 14 lenders have announced their intentions with regards to their SVR’s with the majority passing on the full 0.50% cut.

“Nationalised lender Northern Rock has passed on just 0.15%, leaving its SVR standing at 7.34%, one of the highest on the market. The handful of lenders with a higher rate have yet to announce their decision.

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10/10/2008

Mixed outlook for the mortgage market

Darren Cook, mortgage expert at Moneyfacts.co.uk, comments:

“Amid continued turmoil within the financial markets, mortgage providers are continuing to withdraw their higher loan to value products from the market. Only 3,281 mortgage products are available today, the lowest number we have witnessed since the onslaught of the credit crunch.

Read more

09/10/2008

Loan rates continue to soar

Michelle Slade, analyst at Moneyfacts.co.uk, comments:

“A few months ago Moneyfacts reported that borrowers could no longer find loan rates of less than 7%: now there are just seven providers offering rates less than 8% and this number is dwindling fast.

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07/10/2008

Government backed savings providers deter customers

Michelle Slade, analyst at Moneyfacts.co.uk, comments:

“Northern Rock has once again pulled more of its savings products, while National Savings and Investments (NS&I) have cut rates in a move to deter savers who are looking to take advantage of the 100% government guarantee.

Read more

02/10/2008

House prices in the Fall

  • The price of a typical house fell by 1.7% in September
  • Market weakness not surprising given ongoing turmoil and many risks remain
  • House prices will continue to fall in short term, but longer term prospects are more sound

Headlines

September 2008

August 2008

Monthly index * Q1 '93 = 100

323.9

329.3

Monthly change*

-1.7%

-1.7%

Annual change

-12.4%

-10.5%

Average price

£161,797

£164,654

* seasonally adjusted

Commenting on the figures Fionnuala Earley, Nationwide's Chief Economist, said:

“House prices fell by 1.7% in September. This brings the price of a typical house in the UK to £161,797, 12.4% less than at this time last year .  House prices have now fallen for eleven consecutive months, but the monthly rate of fall has been almost unchanged in the last three months.  The less volatile three-month-on-three month series has also barely changed for the last three months, after accelerating in the first half of the year. This may suggest the beginning of some stabilisation in the pace of house price falls. 

Read more

30/09/2008

Black Monday in the mortgage market

Michelle Slade, analyst at Moneyfacts.co.uk, comments:

“Monday saw one of the largest declines in mortgage products ever seen in a day, with 11.4% of products being culled. At the start of Monday there were 3,914 mortgage products on the market, today there are just 3,469.

Read more

26/09/2008

Investment Life and Pensions Moneyfacts announces 2008 award winners

The winners of the 2008 Investment Life & Pensions Moneyfacts awards were announced today at the prestigious Brewery venue in London.

Over 350 industry professionals from the leading financial institutions and industry bodies gathered at a special awards luncheon hosted by Gyles Brandreth, actor, author and broadcaster. Twenty-nine awards were presented to recognise those companies that have consistently offered the most competitive products, the best levels of service and shown the greatest innovation during the last twelve months.

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23/09/2008

Store cards increase rates in time for Christmas

Michelle Slade, analyst at Moneyfacts.co.uk, comments:

“With Christmas just three months away, store cards from Karen Millen, Oasis and Principles have increased rates by up to 4.3%, now charging 28.9% APR on purchases.

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23/09/2008

Small deposit, means an expensive mortgage choice

Darren Cook, mortgage expert at Moneyfacts.co.uk, comments:

“Borrowers with a deposit of 10% or less have seen the number of mortgages available to them drop by  45% in just one year.

Read more

17/09/2008

HBOS and Lloyds TSB mortgage and savings comparison

Michelle Slade, analyst at Moneyfacts.co.uk, comments:

Following on from the announcement that Lloyds TSB and HBOS are in talks over a possible merger. Attached is a comparison of some of the key mortgage and savings products.

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16/09/2008

It’s not all doom and gloom

Michelle Slade, analyst at Moneyfacts.co.uk, comments:

“With Lehman Brothers filing for bankruptcy, all we have seen reported are bad news stories. However, there is some glimmer of hope in the personal finance world as in the last few days we have seen some positive moves by providers.

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16/09/2008

Fixed rate bond boom is over

Michelle Slade, analyst at Moneyfacts.co.uk, comments:

“Earlier this year, fixed rate bonds were paying some of the highest rates ever seen, but as the pressure in the money markets eases, rates have started to decline.

Read more

10/09/2008

Ethical investors struggling in volatile markets


The latest survey by Investment Life & Pensions Moneyfacts has revealed that ethical investors looking to profit from their principles have been amongst those hardest hit by the volatile stock market conditions of the past 12 months.

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09/09/2008

Mortgage postcode lottery

Michelle Slade, analyst at Moneyfacts.co.uk comments:

“Borrowers in the Midlands have wider access to a higher number of mortgage products than anyone else in the UK, with those living in the Leicestershire having the widest choice.

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04/09/2008

11% increase in longest debt transfer deals

Michelle Slade, analyst at Moneyfacts.co.uk, comments:

“In order to get by many people are resorting to using their credit card. As balances increase, many may be looking for a balance transfer deal.

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02/09/2008

Good news for mortgage borrowers

Michelle Slade, analyst at Moneyfacts.co.uk, comments:

“Average two-year fixed rate peaked at 7.08% at the beginning of July, since then numerous lenders have passed on cuts to their mortgage ranges.

Read more

28/08/2008

Sub-prime mortgage conundrum

Darren Cook, mortgage expert at Moneyfacts.co.uk, comments:

“Up until July last year the sub-prime market was a growing sector offering 8,148 sub-prime residential mortgage products compared with just 1,252 today.

Read more

27/08/2008

Lloyds sets its sights on high credit balance customers

Michelle Slade, analyst at Moneyfacts.co.uk, comments:

“In order to be able to pay a high rate of credit interest on their current accounts, the majority of providers limit the amount on which they will pay the high rate at around £2.5K. On any balance over this, the rate drops significantly, usually to a miserly 0.10%.

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20/08/2008

Battle for savers money rages 

Janet Cane, savings analyst at Moneyfacts.co.uk, comments:

“Many providers have realised that there is no more new money in the market and that the only way to increase their balance sheet is to tempt savers’ money from their competitors.

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18/08/2008

Loan rates at seven year high

Michelle Slade, analyst at Moneyfacts.co.uk, comments:

“The last month has seen another flurry of lenders increasing rates on personal loans. As a result, borrowers are facing the highest levels of repayments seen in the last six years.

Read more

12/08/2008

Inflation eroding savings

Michelle Slade, analyst at Moneyfacts.co.uk, comments:

“With latest figures showing that UK inflation has jumped to 4.4%, more than double the Government’s 2% target, many consumers may not realise what a negative effect this is having on their savings.

Read more

11/08/2008

Switch and save on credit cards

Michelle Slade, analyst at Moneyfacts.co.uk, comments:

“As prices continue to rise, many more consumers are seeing their credit card bills increase. Even if your’re not one of the people who is having to use your credit card just to get by each month, the likelihood is that you have been hit by an increase of some sort from your card provider.

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11/08/2008

The world of mortgages one year on

Michelle Slade, analyst at Moneyfacts.co.uk, comments:

“One year ago the financial world changed completely as the credit crunch took hold. Today the world of mortgages is a completely different place.

“The standard factors which usually determine the rates at which mortgage rates are set, including bank base rate, swap rates and Libor rates are all much lower than this time last year, yet the rates on offer are much higher.

Read more

11/08/2008

Loyalty to your bank will hurt your pocket

Michelle Slade, analyst at Moneyfacts.co.uk, comments:

“Many people are loyal to their bank and go to them for everything from their current account to their mortgage and credit card. However, by doing so you could find yourself seriously out of pocket as the big named banks do not tend to have the best rates.

Read more

07/08/2008

Bank of England keeps UK interest rate at 5%

The Bank of England has kept interest rates on hold at 5% as it tries to deal with a slowing economy and rising inflation.

Bank of England base rate Auust 2008

 

07/08/2008

Beware the true cost of new mortgage deals

Darren Cook, mortgage expert at Moneyfacts.co.uk comments:

“In recent weeks many lenders have announced cuts in their mortgage rates, leading to many people predicting that we may have turned that corner. The average rate on a two-year fixed rate mortgage has dropped from 7.08% at its peak on 11 July to 6.90% today, but typically there is a sting in the tail.

Read more

03/08/2008

House price falls continue in July

  • The price of a typical house fell by 1.7% in July
  • The price of a typical house is now £15,000 lower than this time last year
  • Housing purchase activity reaches a new low
  • Weakening economic conditions raise the likelihood of earlier interest rate cuts

Headlines

July 2008

June 2008

Monthly index * Q1 '93 = 100

336.3

342.0

Monthly change*

-1.7%

-0.8%

Annual change

-8.1%

-6.3%

Average price

£169,316

£172,415

* seasonally adjusted

Commenting on the figures Fionnuala Earley, Nationwide's Chief Economist, said:

“The price of a typical house fell by 1.7% in July, bringing the annual fall to 8.1%. This brings the average price to £169,316, almost £15,000 less than this time last year and its lowest level since August 2006. House prices have now been falling for nine consecutive months, but on average are still almost £11,000 higher than three years ago.

Read more

28/07/2008

A stable outlook, as fixed mortgage rates continue to fall

Darren Cook, mortgage expert at Moneyfacts.co.uk, comments:

“There is a faint glimmer of hope that the fixed rate mortgage market is returning to some sort of normality. New mortgage borrowers are now finally benefiting from this, as lenders pass on a string of welcome interest rate cuts on their popular fixed rate deals.

Read more

28/07/2008

Are Savings Rate Guarantees Worth The Paper They Are Written On?

Joanna O’Brien, savings analyst at Moneyfacts.co.uk, comments:

“As institutions continue to try and out do each other in what has become a very competitive savings market in recent months, investors need to make sure they read the small print carefully.

Read more

23/07/2008

Cost of life cover halves in a decade

Research from moneyfacts.co.uk has revealed the extent to which consumers have benefited from the price war that has engulfed the term assurance market in recent years and warns that some premiums may have bottomed out.

Read more

23/07/2008

Moneyfacts.co.uk – top 10 tips for students

Michelle Slade, analyst at Moneyfacts.co.uk, comments:

“With only a few weeks to go before the long awaited A’ level results are published, some school leavers will be excitedly preparing to go off to university.  As part of their new lifestyle, it may be the first time they have full control over their own finances, receiving lump sums and having to pay bills. So getting it right financially can be one step towards surviving those student years.

Read more

21/07/2008

Average two-year fixed back below 7%

Michelle Slade, analyst at Moneyfacts.co.uk, comments:

“Mortgage borrowers have not had much to be happy about in the last few months as rates have continually soared. Just ten days ago the average two year fixed peaked at a rate of 7.08%, its highest in over a decade.

Read more

21/07/2008

Moneyfacts.co.uk – top 10 tips for graduates

Michelle Slade, analyst at Moneyfacts.co.uk, comments:

“On leaving university, searching for the best current account provider may be the last thing on many graduates’ minds. But by taking the time to shop around, they could find an account that suits their circumstances and also save some money into the bargain.

Read more

17/07/2008

More good news for savers

Michelle Slade, analyst at Moneyfacts.co.uk, comments:

“Amongst the negative stories that have come out in recent months, there is one aspect of personal finance which continues to flourish.

“Savers are seeing rates as much as 1.30% higher than they were in December 2006, which was the last time base rate was at the same level.

Read more

16/07/2008

Moneyfacts comments on the SHIP equity release findings

David Knight, analyst at Moneyfacts.co.uk, comments:

“Following the latest figures released by SHIP showing the amount of equity release business has risen 14% in Q2 this year Moneyfacts.co.uk can confirm that the number of equity release products available has also risen since the beginning of the year.

Read more

16/07/2008

Moneyfacts comments on the OFT current account findings

Michelle Slade, analyst at Moneyfacts.co.uk, comments:

“The big named banks have for a long time relied on brand and customer loyalty. As highlighted by the Office for Fair Trading (OFT), the result has been that many consumers find themselves in accounts paying little or no credit interest and/or being charged high fees when they have insufficient funds in their accounts.

Read more

15/07/2008

Credit card crunch

Michelle Slade, analyst at Moneyfacts.co.uk, comments:

“Until recently the credit card market had seemed to continue along as it always has. Lenders extended introductory deal dates as they always have, some lenders amended their rates, while others increased charges.

Read more

14/07/2008

Moneyfacts comments on the proposed merger of Abbey and Alliance & Leicester

Darren Cook, mortgage expert at Moneyfacts.co.uk, comments:

“The merger of these two high street names will likely briefly bring increased confidence to the industry. However, it will also bring further reduction in consumer choice, which is already under pressure and has seen significant reductions, particularly in the mortgage market.

Read more

11/07/2008

Secured loan market diminishing  

Michelle Slade, analyst at Moneyfacts.co.uk, comments:

“First Plus has become the latest casualty of the credit crunch. The secured loan lender has announced that it would be closed to new applications from August.

Read more

10/07/2008

Bank of Rngland holds interest rates at 5%

UK interest rates have been kept on hold at 5% by the Bank of England following its latest meeting.

bank of england base rate

09/07/2008

Standard variable: a growing number await news on base rate decision

Darren Cook, mortgage expert at Moneyfacts.co.uk, comments:

“Twelve months ago, a mortgage borrower could pick and choose from in excess of 15,000 mortgage products and handed an advance of 125% of the actual property value.

Read more

07/07/2008

Fixed rates continue to increase as lenders fail to pass on the cut in swap rates

Darren Cook, mortgage expert at Moneyfacts.co.uk, comments:

“It is now three weeks since the peak in swap rates and we would expect to see the cost of fixed rate deals starting to fall, but this isn’t the case. In fact the opposite is true, with rates continuing to rise.

Read more

02/07/2008

Pace of house price falls slows in June

  • House prices fell by 0.9% in June, less than half the rate of the previous month
  • Prices are 6.3% lower than this time last year, but remain 4% higher than 2 years ago
  • House purchase transactions remain subdued across the UK
  • Northern Irish and Scottish activity levels stand out at each extreme

Headlines

June 2008

May 2008

Monthly index * Q1 '93 = 100

342.3

345.5

Monthly change*

-0.9%

-2.5%

Annual change

-6.3%

-4.4%

Average price

£172,415

£173,583

* seasonally adjusted

Commenting on the figures Fionnuala Earley, Nationwide's Chief Economist, said:

Read more

30/06/2008

Low rate loans a thing of the past

Michelle Slade, analyst at Moneyfacts.co.uk, comments:

“Anyone looking for a personal loan can no longer find rates of less than 7%. Yourpersonalloan.co.uk, which is funded by The Co-operative Bank, has increased its rate from 6.9% to 7.3%.

“Back in June 2006 rates as low as 5.6% were on offer and even this time last year rates as low as 6.1% could be found. Today the lowest rate on offer is from The AA on its telephone loan at 7.2%.

Read more

26/06/2008

Reformed smokers cashing in

Michelle Slade, analyst at Moneyfacts.co.uk, comments:

“Figures from the NHS earlier this year revealed that nearly 165,000 people gave up smoking with NHS help in 2007, compared with nearly 129,000 in 2006. The increase in numbers can be partially attributed to the ban on smoking in public in England and Wales, which came into force on 1 June 2007.

Read more

25/06/2008

Use your credit card wisely and save thousands!

Michelle Slade, analyst at Moneyfacts.co.uk comments:

“With families’ disposable income greatly reduced, many will be reaching for their credit cards to buy some luxuries over the summer. Whether it’s a family holiday or days out, the costs can soon mount up.

“If only the minimum repayment is paid each month, many could find themselves paying more than twice as much for their purchases.

Read more

24/06/2008

Average two year fixed rate mortgage breaks 7% barrier

Darren Cook, mortgage expert at Moneyfacts.co.uk, comments:

“As predicted by Moneyfacts, the average rate for two-year fixed rate mortgages available on the market today breaks the 7% barrier and stands at 7.02%. Anyone looking to fix their mortgage for five years is also paying the price as the average rate on offer now increased to 6.82%.

Read more

20/06/2008

Inflation linked savings

Rachel Thrussell, Head of Savings at Moneyfacts.co.uk, comments:

“The Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) is currently trying to balance the scales between inflation and base rate. With increasing costs on fuel and food, inflation has grown to 3.3% (CPI) in May 2008, its highest level since July 1992 and well above the Government’s 2% target.

Read more

19/06/2008

Finance for football fanatics

Michelle Slade, analyst at Moneyfacts.co.uk, comments:

“Euro 2008 is heading towards its climax and football fans everywhere are starting to look forward to the start of the 2008/09 football season. Throughout the UK fans will be getting ready to support their team, either by buying this season’s latest kit, shouting at the TV screen or singing on the terraces.

Read more

16/06/2008

Cost of fixed rate mortgages reaches 10 year high

Darren Cook, mortgage expert at Moneyfacts.co.uk, comments:

“Latest research from Moneyfacts.co.uk shows that today the average two year fixed rate stands at 6.75%, the highest rate we have seen in the last 10 years. Customers looking to fix their mortgage for five years are also paying the price as the average rate has increased to 6.72%.

Read more

11/06/2008

Is a two year fixed mortgage prudent enough?

Darren Cook, mortgage expert at Moneyfacts.co.uk, comments:

“If you went for an interview today and your potential boss asked you, where do you see yourself in five years time? You would no doubt respond with a confident answer of, pretty close to where you are sitting right now.

“If you are currently looking for a mortgage and a provider or broker asks you the same question, your answer on affordability would be less confident. But don’t worry; most of the world’s economists are not too bullish about interest rates either

Read more

11/06/2008

Innovation fuels credit card savings

Esther James, analyst at Moneyfacts.co.uk, comments:

“In a world where consumers are facing rising prices at every turn, there are still opportunities to save money.

“Balance transfer and introductory deals are great for those who cannot pay their balance off in full. For those who are able to keep on top of their finances and pay off their credit card balance each month, there are cards available which can offer various benefits.

Read more

04/06/2008

Credit card competition heats up

Samantha Owens, Head of Personal Finance at Moneyfacts.co.uk, comments:

“Competition in the balance transfer and introductory rate market continues to grow this week with Capital One extending its 0% deals for both purchases and transfers to 1.9.09.

“Whilst there has been growing concern in the credit card market, with a reduction in the number of applications accepted and providers increasing rates for both purchases and cash, the deals on offer at the top end of the market have not been affected.

Read more

03/06/2008

Credit continues to get more expensive

Michelle Slade, analyst at Moneyfacts.co.uk, comments:

“With increasing costs on all household bills, many people are relying on their credit card to get by each month. But these people are going to find themselves out of pocket as purchase and cash rates, along with charges, continue to increase.

Read more

02/06/2008

125% remortgage - The ‘Lesser of two evils’

Darren Cook, mortgage expert at Moneyfacts.co.uk, comments:

“In previous years many people have struggled to get onto the housing ladder because of high house prices and earnings not matching up. Lenders recognised this demand and one of the ways they tried to assist borrowers was by designing and offering mortgages in excess of 100% LTV. The intended plan was that you buy a property that’s in need of refurbishment at a cheaper price, renovate the property and in turn increase the property’s value.

Read more

28/05/1008

Does a pint of milk last longer than a mortgage deal?

Darren Cook, Head of Press at Moneyfacts.co.uk, comments:

“Households across the UK have got their morning routine of a fresh cup of tea and a bowl of cereal down to a fine art. The shelf life of a pint of milk is between eight and fifteen days and for most of us it’s readily available and in durable packaging, with healthy benefits for us all.

Read more

14/05/2008

Moneyfacts mortgage update

Michelle Slade, analyst at Moneyfacts.co.uk, comments

“It is now five weeks since the last base rate cut and still 24 lenders (25%) have not announced their intentions with regards to their standard variable rate (SVR). Of those lenders that have done so, 20 (28%) have announced a cut of less than 0.25%. Even more disappointingly is the fact that those lenders which have passed on the smallest cuts offer some of the highest SVR rates.

Read more

12/05/2008

Current account customers feel the pinch

On 10 April the Bank of England announced a 0.25% cut in interest rates. Since that time the current account market has seen plenty of rate changes but some lenders have used the opportunity to tweak their rates by more than the 0.25% cut. Michelle Slade, analyst at Moneyfacts.co.uk, comments:

“The last month has seen some institutions cut credit interest rates by as much as 1.75% and others put overdraft rates up rather than down. A lot of the biggest moves have been by the major high street lenders, meaning a large proportion of the population are going to be hit at a time when they can least afford it.

Read more

08/05/2008

Bank of England keep interest rates at 5%

The Bank of England's Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) has held UK interest rates at 5%. The move was widely expected, although many analysts now predict that rates will be cut to 4.75% in June.

Bank of England Base Rate

30/04/2008

Housing market weakness stretches into April

  • House prices fell for the sixth consecutive month in April
  • The price of a typical house is now 1% lower than this time last year
  • The Bank of England’s Special Liquidity Scheme should help to improve wholesale markets
  • More than 5 million borrowers have directly benefited from Bank of England rate cuts

Headlines

April 2008

March 2008

Monthly index * Q1 '93 = 100

355.5

359.4

Monthly change*

-1.1%

-0.7%

Annual change

-1.0%

1.1%

Average price

£178,555

£179,110

* seasonally adjusted

Commenting on the figures Fionnuala Earley, Nationwide's Chief Economist, said:

“April was another difficult month for the housing market.  Falling levels of market activity meant that prices fell by 1.1% during the month and ended up 1% lower than this time last year.  April’s fall in prices continues the trend of the last six months and reflects the weakening sentiment in the market brought about by poor affordability and tighter financial market conditions.  This is the first year-on-year fall in prices since March 1996 and brings the price of a typical house to £178,555, £1,759 lower than at this time last year.

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28/04/2008

More personal loan pain for borrowers

Michelle Slade, analyst at Moneyfacts.co.uk, comments

“It’s not only mortgage rates that continue to increase, so too have the rates and monthly repayments on personal loans.

“In the last two weeks alone we have seen Barclaycard (+0.50%), Lombard Direct (+1.0%), The AA (+0.10%), NatWest (+2.50%) and Tesco Personal Finance (+0.6%) all push selected rates upwards. On top of this Barclaycard has pulled the one time best buy product offered through its Masterloan brand.

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23/04/2008

Moneyfacts mortgage facts

Denise Harvey, mortgage analyst at Moneyfacts.co.uk, comments

“Two weeks on from the base rate cut 38 lenders (38%) have announced that they will cut their SVR. The majority of lenders have passed on the full 0.25% cut however five have cut their SVRs by less than 0.25%, including Northern Rock which has only passed on a 0.10% cut, see Table 1.

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21/04/2008

Are instant access accounts always what they seem?

The most popular account amongst savers are instant access and no notice. The majority of savers like the comfort of knowing that if they require immediate access to their money, they can get it. But with some accounts this comes at a price.

Michelle Slade, analyst at Moneyfacts.co.uk, comments:

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16/04/2008

OFT credit card default charges – two years on

In April 2006 the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) declared that default charges on credit cards were too high and suggested capping these at £12. In the months that followed lenders cut these charges to £12 but in an attempt to recoup lost revenue, they hiked rates and charges elsewhere. Two years on, how much have the rates and charges on credit cards increased?

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10/04/2008

Bank of England lowers interest rates to 5%

The Bank of England has cut interest rates to 5% from 5.25% to, it is the bank's third cut in interest rates since early December.

 

28/03/2008

No bounce in house prices this Easter

  • House price growth slows to lowest level in twelve years
  • Clear change in consumers’ housing market sentiment
  • Outlook more downbeat, but within forecast range
  • MPC expected to bring rate cut forward to April

Headlines

March 2008

February 2008

Monthly index * Q1 '93 = 100

360.5

362.6

Monthly change*

-0.6%

-0.5%

Annual change

1.1%

2.7%

Average price

£179,110

£179,358

* seasonally adjusted

Commenting on the figures Fionnuala Earley, Nationwide's Chief Economist, said:

Read more

27/03/2008

Credit’s not so easy anymore

Not only have personal loan rates increased by an average of 1.7%* over the past year, lenders have also made some significant changes to the way that they offer these products. Samantha Owens, Head of Personal Finance at Moneyfacts.co.uk investigates:

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26/03/2008

Credit crunch hits smaller mortgage lenders

Over the last few weeks we have seen more changes in the mortgage market time than ever before. Denise Harvey, mortgage analyst from moneyfacts.co.uk, looks at what has been going on.

“It seems that there is no stopping it. Over the last two weeks, lenders have been even more ruthless in withdrawing products from the market and/or tightening their criteria. Over the last month alone we have seen the number of mortgage products available across residential and buy-to-let plunge from 7726 to 5700, a staggering drop of 2026 products.

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19/03/2008

Biggest isn’t always best in the mortgage market

The fallout from the credit crunch and predicted falling house prices have forced lenders to consider their positions in the market and reassess their attitude to risk based lending. Denise Harvey, mortgage analyst from moneyfacts.co.uk looks at the position of the UK’s largest lenders in today’s market.

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19/03/2008

Loyalty can pay if the account is right!

Michelle Slade, analyst at Moneyfacts.co.uk, comments:

“The savings market at the moment is a hotly contested arena. The credit crunch has seen institutions upping their game and launching products offering fantastic rates. The result being that some institutions now have in excess of 20 plus products to choose from.

Read more

12/03/2008

The decline of sub prime mortgage lending – where will it end?

It seems that the effects from the credit crunch on the sub prime mortgage market are far from over. Julia Harris, mortgage analyst from moneyfacts.co.uk looks at recent changes to the ever-depleting market.

“Over the last week we have seen a host of sub prime lenders including Amber Homeloans, Scarborough Specialist Mortgages and SALT cease new lending of sub prime mortgages. In addition Northern Rock has announced that it will no longer be offering sub prime mortgages funded by Southern Pacific Mortgage Limited.

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10/03/2008

Base rate lottery

In the space of just over a year we have seen three base rate increases followed by two base rate cuts. With everyone’s attention focused on mortgage and savings rates, some institutions have used the changes in base rate to increase their margins on current accounts.

Samantha Owens, head of personal finance at Moneyfacts.co.uk, comments:

“It appears that some lenders have used the base rate movements as an opportunity to reduce credit interest rates and/or increase overdraft rates.

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10/03/2008

Moneyfacts calls on the Government and the mortgage industry to help homebuyers

On the eve of the launch of the first ever Moneyfacts mortgage report “Tougher times in the UK residential mortgage market”, Andrew Hagger of Moneyfacts.co.uk comments on the following topics:

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05/03/2008

Plastic is fantastic for charitable giving – but only if you repay in full each month!

As we head towards spring, we see the return of many high profile charity events including Sport Relief and Race for Life. But giving to charity doesn’t have to be limited to sponsorship on an event once a year.

Michelle Slade, analyst at Moneyfacts.co.uk, comments:

Read more

05/03/2008

What a difference a year makes to mortgages

This time last year Northern Rock was just another bank and the words ‘credit crunch’ had no significance. One year on and the mortgage world is a completely different place. Julia Harris, mortgage analyst at Moneyfacts.co.uk, comments:

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29/02/2008

House price inflation falls to 2.7% in February

  • House prices fell by 0.5% in February, the fourth consecutive monthly decline
  • The annual rate of house price inflation fell from 4.2% to 2.7%
  • UK recession “a remote risk for the UK economy”

Headlines

February 2008

January 2008

Monthly index * Q1 '93 = 100

363.3

365.0

Monthly change*

-0.5%

-0.3%

Annual change

2.7%

4.2%

Average price

£179,358

£180,473

* seasonally adjusted

Commenting on the figures Fionnuala Earley, Nationwide's Chief Economist, said:

“The price of a typical house fell by 0.5% during February, bringing the annual rate of house price growth down to 2.7%.  This is the fourth consecutive monthly fall in house prices and brings the annual rate of house price inflation to its lowest since November 2005. The trend in prices is clearly weakening, but the size of the drop in the annual rate between January and February perhaps overstates the rate of cooling as it partly reflects the particularly strong increase in prices in February last year.  The 3-month on 3-month rate of price growth rate fell to -1% in February, down from -0.4% the previous month. The average price of a typical property now stands at £179,358, an increase of £4,653, or £12.75 per day, over the last 12 months.

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27/02/2008

ISA war gathers pace

Rachel Thrussell, Head of Savings at Moneyfacts.co.uk comments:

“The rush for a slice of the tax-free market is really heating up now, with 42% of mini cash ISA products being amended since the beginning of February and 80% since the beginning of January.

“As previously predicted, the last few weeks have seen the banks and building societies upping their game as the new tax year approaches. Last year’s best buys were dominated by rates up to a maximum of 6.05%. However, in what has become a far more competitive environment this year, all the best buy rates are paying 6.10% and above.

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27/02/2008

First time landlords also feeling the pinch

Results from the Council of Mortgage Lenders this week have shown an increase in the number of loans taken by buy-to-let landlords in 2007. With first time buyers finding it increasingly difficult to get onto the property ladder, it might be expected that private landlords are having it easy. Alan Harper, Senior Analyst at Moneyfacts.co.uk looks at the availability of buy-to let mortgages:

“Moneyfacts.co.uk research shows that landlords have not escaped the fallout from the credit crunch. As in the residential market maximum loan to value limits have fallen during the second half of 2007.

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26/02/2008

Do you know the value of the contents in your home?

Michelle Slade, analyst at Moneyfacts.co.uk comments:

Whilst many people shop around for cheaper car insurance when it comes up for renewal, they tend to be more apathetic when it comes to insuring their most valuable asset, their home. Failure to check out the market for a better deal just ends up boosting the coffers of the insurance company. However, more importantly, if your contents are under-insured, you could find yourself severely out of pocket should you need to make a claim.

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25/02/2008

Are packaged current accounts worth the money?

“The majority of the banks offer packaged current accounts, but are these accounts really worth the monthly fee and do any of these accounts offer a better deal than the standard current accounts?

Michelle Slade, analyst at Moneyfacts.co.uk comments:

“With us all currently waiting on the outcome of the OFT’s test case in the High Court with banks over charges and with speculation rife that free banking may be a thing of the past if the OFT wins, packaged current accounts may become increasingly popular.

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22/02/2008

Going, going, gone – 125% LTV mortgages are no more

“At the end of last week there were six providers offering 125% mortgages; now there are none. Birmingham Midshires Solutions has become the last lender to pull out of this area of the market.

Denise Harvey, Mortgage Analyst at Moneyfacts.co.uk, comments:

“It seems no one is prepared to stand out from the crowd in the current environment and accept the additional risk a 125% mortgage poses.

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21/02/2008

Base rate – two weeks on

Michelle Slade, analyst at Moneyfacts.co.uk comments on the changes in the mortgage and savings market since the 0.25% base rate cut on 7 February

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20/02/2008

It’s not just 125% mortgages that are disappearing

 
By the close of play yesterday four of the six lenders that were offering 125% loan to value mortgages had announced that they were to withdraw these higher risk home loans. Alliance and Leicester, Coventry BS, Godiva Mortgages and Abbey are all set to pull these deals this week. Julia Harris analyst at moneyfacts.co.uk investigates:

Read more

19/02/2008

New car finance and Insurance – why getting it wrong could cost you thousands more

Michelle Slade, analyst at Monyfacts.co.uk comments:

“Motorists everywhere are now searching garages all across the country to find the best deal for the new 08 plate cars. Unfortunately the same effort is rarely put into sorting out the best finance for the car and getting this wrong can be an extremely costly mistake.

Read more

14/02/2008

Balance Transfers – not what they used to be

Samantha Owens, Head of Personal Finance at Moneyfacts.co.uk, comments on the 0% balance transfer deals and how this market has changed:

“It was way back in 2004 when balance transfer fees first started to raise their ugly heads on 0% credit card deals. However with increasing levels of personal debt, the market for transferring balances has become more competitive, but for the consumer it has become harder to get these deals.

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14/02/2008

2007 – a bumper year for annuities

The latest annuity market review by Investment Life and Pensions Moneyfacts shows that 2007 offered a welcome upturn in a sector that has suffered prolonged erosion in the level of annuity rates available to pensioners.

Read more

13/02/2008

The fixed rate remortgage conundrum

As the year goes on, an increasing number of borrowers will be facing the dilemma of what to do once they come to the end of their fixed rate mortgage deals. Julia Harris, mortgage analyst at moneyfacts.co.uk, looks at the options available.

Read more

12/02/2008

Savings – What a difference a year makes!

This time last year the base rate was at the same level as it is today (5.25%). Savings rates on the other hand, are far higher than 12 months ago. Rachel Thrussell, Head of Savings at moneyfacts.co.uk, comments:

“Despite the latest cut in base rate, the second in the last three months, fierce competition within the savings market and particularly the battle for best buy recognition means that savers have the opportunity to grab some great deals at the moment.

Read more

08/02/2008

Use yesterday's rate cut to help you to reduce your mortgage term

Julia Harris, analyst at Moneyfacts.co.uk, shows you how re-investing the saving could help to reduce the amount and term left on your mortgage.

Don’t reduce your standing order – reduce your mortgage term and interest bill
“Moneyfacts’ analysis (based on a £100K mortgage over 25 years) shows that by simply re-investing the money you have saved through a 0.25% interest rate cut, back into your mortgage, you can save 15 months off the length of the term, and a total saving of £4454.81. If the rate gets cut by more, or cut again later in the year, the savings could be even greater.

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07/02/2008

Bank of England reduces interest rates to 5.25%

Bank of England policymakers have decided to reduce UK interest rates to 5.25%. Analysts had widely predicted the move, which followed recent cuts in the US, where the Federal Reserve.

 

Graph of UK interest rates

05/02/2008

Switching your current account – The Moneyfacts.co.uk view

Whether you are someone who runs your current account in credit or makes regular use of an overdraft limit, Samantha Owens, Head of Personal Finance at moneyfacts.co.uk, looks at the financial benefits of switching your current account.

“Whilst switching a mortgage, credit card or savings account has become almost the norm as consumers have started to become more savvy about making the most of their money, there is a combination of reluctance and apathy when it comes to moving your current account.

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05/02/2008

ISA war kicks off early

Michelle Slade analyst at Moneyfacts.co.uk comments:

”As the end of another tax year fast approaches, savers should be looking to make the most of their tax free allowance. Any allowance not used by the 5 April deadline will be lost forever.

“This year the battle for a slice of the tax-free savings market has kicked off earlier than usual, with two of the current top three best buys (Scarborough BS and Icesave) having been launched in the last month.

Read more

04/02/2008

Gas and electricity – price is only part of the issue

Michelle Slade analyst at Moneyfacts.co.uk comments:

“Once again we are in the situation where double digit price rises are the norm and everyone is wondering where to go for the best deal. Whilst it is a good time to be shopping around, Moneyfacts is calling on the power suppliers to do more to help customers.

Read more

31/01/2008

Little movement in house prices during January

  • House prices fell by a modest 0.1% in January, the third consecutive monthly decline
  • The annual rate of house price inflation edged down from 4.8% to 4.2%
  • Housing market conditions have loosened further, but there are tentative signs that demand may have bottomed out

Headlines

January 2008

December 2007

Monthly index * Q1 '93 = 100

365.9

366.4

Monthly change*

-0.1%

-0.4%

Annual change

4.2%

4.8%

Average price

£180,473

£182,080

* seasonally adjusted

Read more

29/01/2008

Lenders squeeze extra profit before base rate falls

With speculation rife that the Monetary Policy Committee will cut base rate again next week, mortgage lenders have been preparing for the potential increased demand by increasing margins offered on tracker rate mortgages. Denise Harvey, mortgage analyst at Moneyfacts.co.uk investigates.

“In the last two weeks alone, analysis from Moneyfacts.co.uk has revealed that 10 lenders have increased the margins on tracker mortgages by as much as 0.45%.

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28/01/2008

Got the post Christmas credit card blues - why not invest a little time to knock ALL your finances into shape?
          

Andrew Hagger, head of news and press at Moneyfacts.co.uk shows just how much consumers can save, not only on their credit card, but also on their energy and insurance bills whilst they’re at it.

“In the last couple of weeks thousands of people will have taken a sharp intake of breath when they realised the extent of their Christmas overspending as their latest credit card bills hit the doormat.

Read more

25/01/2008

Yet more bad news for savers

Today sees news that selected Barclay’s savings rates will be hit for the third time in as many months.

Savings Builder and Day to Day Savings face a 0.24% reduction on 1 February. Day to Day savings will pay 3.69%; Savings Builder will pay 4.17% at £10K, 4.31% at £25K, 4.41% at £50K, 4.55% at £100K and 4.65% at £250K.

Rachel Thrussell, Head of Savings at Moneyfacts.co.uk comments:

“This is disappointing news, particularly so soon after the previous cuts. A total cut of 0.74% will make a significant dent to your interest return, especially when the rates are far from market leading.

Read more

21/01/2008

Moneyfacts.co.uk calls on Ofgem to help pensioners with increased energy costs.

Many people in the UK are faced with having to stretch their finances to the limit with the news that NPower, EDF energy and British Gas are hiking fuel prices by around 15 per cent, but for many elderly members of our society, this could prove a hike too far.

Andrew Hagger of Moneyfacts.co.uk comments:

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16/01/2008

Pension fund returns lowest for five years

“After enjoying four successive years of strong investment returns, most pension holders will have seen only modest gains to their policies during 2007. Only those pension savers who hold more aggressive funds investing in the Far East and Global emerging markets will look back at the last twelve months with any real sense of achievement.”

Read more

15/01/2008

Fixed rate savings take a tumble

Rachel Thrussell, Head of Savings at Moneyfacts.co.uk, comments:

“High savings rates have been a by-product of the credit crunch, as providers source deposits as an alternative option to raising funds on the money markets. Competition is still alive, with rates paying almost 1% more than Bank of England base rate in the variable market, and as much as 1.35% within the fixed market.

Read more

15/01/2008

Good news for borrowers as personal loan rates fall

Esther James, personal finance analyst at Moneyfacts.co.uk, comments:

“For most of 2007 we reported rising loan rates, with the demise of sub six percent personal loans and the market finally settling at the end of the year with the best deals around 6.5% to 7%. But as 2008 starts, there is good news for borrowers as rates begin to fall.

Read more

14/01/2008

Mortgage lenders tighten their belts

With expectations of a housing market slowdown this year, it seems that mortgage lenders have started to take a more cautious approach to ensure their fingers don’t get burnt. The latest market analysis from Moneyfacts.co.uk highlights the current trend for lenders to be reducing their maximum loan to values.

Read more

10/01/2008

Moneyfacts.co.uk consistent savings accounts Jan 2008

For savers who are fed up with excessive rate cuts or too busy constantly to switch between short term deals.

Andrew Hagger of Moneyfacts.co.uk comments:

“Recent events in the personal savings market underline the importance of providing consumers with details of the most consistent savings accounts available.

Read more

10/01/2008

Bank keeps interest rates on hold

Bank of England policymakers have decided to keep UK interest rates unchanged at 5.5%. The Bank faced a tough decision, having to balance signs of a slowdown in consumer spending against indications of growing inflationary pressures.

09/01/2008

Savers - fed up with big rate cuts and short term bonuses?– Moneyfacts.co.uk has the answer

Lisa Taylor, at Moneyfacts.co.uk comments:

“UK savers are faced with a huge array of savings accounts to choose from, but how can they pick an account that hasn’t had its rate slashed to a derisory level or find an account that doesn’t include a short term bonus?  Moneyfacts tables highlighting the most consistent best buy savings products over the last 18 months and 36 months could well be the answer to help consumers steer clear of such interest rate uncertainty – full details of the latest best buy accounts will be published tomorrow 10.1.2008.

Read more

09/01/2008

Savers and borrowers still waiting to see if their rates will be cut

Julia Harris, analyst at Moneyfacts.co.uk investigates:

“Five weeks on from Decembers shock reduction in base rate, many experts are predicting yet another cut tomorrow. Despite the festive period we would have expected the dust to have settled by now, with most lenders and savings providers having made a decision. But some lenders and savings providers are still undecided, with mortgage borrowers continuing to be charged at a potentially higher rate, while some savers may be happily sitting on higher than expected return.

Read more

07/01/2008

Still 24 days to pay day – can your overdraft take the strain?

Pay day may seem like an eternity away, with your bank account put under extra pressure trying to cope with your post Christmas spend and regular household bills. But it is vital that you keep on top of your finances. Going into unauthorised overdraft, buying items without the funds to cover them or having items returned by your bank can be a costly mistake.

Lisa Taylor, analyst at Moneyfacts.co.uk investigates:

Moneyfacts.co.uk research reveals:

  • The average cost of unauthorised debit interest is almost double the cost of an authorised overdraft
  • Average authorised rate is 12.08%, compared with 23.27% for unauthorised borrowing
  • If your banks pays an item for £100 taking you into unauthorised overdraft, bank fees and interest could cost you over £160 if you don’t clear this debt for two weeks.
  • Depending on your current account provider, this charge could vary by over 600%

Read more

07/01/2008

Choosing the wrong loan could cost you dear

If your new year’s resolution is the tackle your debt by consolidation, tread carefully as you could be caught out by high interest rates and over priced insurance. Lisa Taylor, analyst at Moneyfacts.co.uk investigates:

“Consolidating your debts onto one loan can prove an ideal solution. It could cut your monthly payments and see your interest bill lower. Also for those less disciplined, the fixed monthly repayment might offer the structure you need to commit to repay the debt within a given time. 

Read more

04/01/2008

Rate of annual house price growth slows in all UK regions

  • Annual house price growth slows across the whole of the UK in final quarter of 2007
  • The ripple effect is still evident as the North-South gap widens by £15,000 in 2007
  • Northern Ireland saw the biggest slowdown in annual house price growth while the West Midlands was the most stable region
  • London saw fastest rate of annual house price growth in England for the seventh consecutive quarter
  • Northern Ireland and Yorkshire & Humberside saw price falls during the final quarter

Read more

03/01/2008

Get a grip of your finances in 2008

Julia Harris of Moneyfacts.co.uk looks at sorting out your finances if you’ve lumbered yourself with more debt than you’re comfortable with in 2007 and want to put that New Year’s resolution into action to regain control in 2008

Read more

 

 

2007 News Achieve

To view the news auriculars from Go Direct in 2007 please click on the link below.

News 2007

 

YOUR HOME MAY BE REPOSSESSED IF YOU DO NOT KEEP UP REPAYMENTS ON YOUR MORTGAGE

Think carefully before securing other debts against your home, your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage.

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