Manchester BS revamps mortgage range

Nia Williams

September 6, 2010

The all new suite of products offers attractive fixed and discounted variable rates with improved income multiples and modest arrangement fees.

For house purchase, the 2 year fixed rate starts at 3.74% and offers an income multiple of up to 4.5 x main income, with other rates and multiples applying to higher LTV options. At 80% LTV the lowest rate is now 3.99% and the remortgage option also features an incentive package.

Also included is a range of two and three year discounted variable rate products linked to its standard variable rate, with a discount of up to 2.25% available. The lowest rate of 3.24% compares favourably with base rate tracker schemes, according to the society, and upon maturity of the initial rate period, the majority of products provide an ongoing discount for the remainder of the mortgage term.

Its retail buy-to-let range has been extended and this now offers a choice of two discounted rates for a period of one year. The standard buy-to-let rate for 75% LTV is 5.74% and 5.49% for 65% LTV, each having an arrangement fee of only 0.5% (minimum £495). For 60% LTV the discount offered is 1.75% and for 70% LTV the discount is 1.50%, with arrangement fees of £1995. These products are targeted at small scale landlords.

Each mortgage application is manually assessed by a team of experienced underwriters, without the use of automated scoring systems, as the Manchester believes that a blinkered ‘one size fits all’ approach often frustrates advisers.

Its individual reviews provide common sense personal underwriting, allowing complex elements of prime applications to be duly considered. Mortgage advisers can contact the Underwriting team directly to discuss any aspect of individual cases.

Chris Mitton, business relationship manager commented: “Our newly extended Mortgage Options range remains focused on the intermediary market and is intended to cater for a wider range of client needs.

“In addition to the launch of our new fixed and discounted variable rates, we have also made several improvements to our lending criteria which should benefit mortgage advisers. All products continue to have no booking fees and we have kept arrangement fees at sensible levels.

“A return to offering discounted rate products based on our standard variable rate is something that we consider will be of value to advisers and their clients.

“Whilst bank base rate trackers have been dominant in recent years, the interest margins on these are now much higher than in the past, and in a rising rate environment it is quite possible that lenders’ standard rates will not increase to the same extent.

“Advisers should probably consider the degree to which lenders’ standard rates and bank base rate converge and the possibility of whether a tracker product might turn out to be more expensive.”

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