Moneyfacts SVR mortgage survey

Amanda Jarvis

January 4, 2006

Monerfacts has released the results our latest Moneyfacts SVR mortgage survey showing the annual interest cost of a £150,000 mortgage at the lenders standard variable rate (SVR) between 1 January 2005 and 31 December 2005.

For this survey we have reviewed our approach and now measure all lenders, rather than using the previous barometer which only covered the top 35 lenders, based upon the size of their mortgage assets.

This whole of market approach is more relevant in today’s increasingly competitive mortgage arena, with many of the relative newcomers to the mortgage market and the smaller mutuals offering some of the most competitive rates.

Whilst a borrower will never sign up for a lenders SVR directly, it is surprising just how many consumers are prepared to leave their borrowing at this rate when their initial fixed or discounted deal expires.

This situation was highlighted in an online survey at Moneyfacts.co.uk during 2005; in which 46% of a sample of 4342 visitors to the site claimed their mortgage interest rate was being charged at their lenders SVR.

Our survey reflects the ever changing and increasingly diverse UK mortgage market, with growing numbers of specialist lenders including current account and offset providers making an appearance towards the top of the table.

Keith Street, Director of Sales for Kensington Mortgages is understandably proud of their achievement of 11th position and said, “ Such recognition confirms our status as a leading specialist lender, providing innovative products tailored for our market. 20% of our mortgage book is on a variable rate so it’s important to have a low SVR to remain competitive and treat our customers fairly.”

The full range of lenders covered is highlighted by the presence of smaller players such as Stafford Railway BS, which has reached the heady heights of second place, even though it only has one product, currently priced at 5.45% for term. In fact this survey continues to underline the competitiveness of the mutuals, who occupy over half of the top 25 positions.

First Direct has taken over the top spot, with previous top performers, Egg and HSBC, still occupying top five positions

Darren Cook, Head of Mortgages at Moneyfacts.co.uk comments: “Lenders such as First Direct, Egg, HSBC and First Active offer a smaller range of products than some of those at the lower end of the table. Whilst a number of lenders outside the top 20 may offer some market leading fixed rate or discounted deals, these are often offset against a higher SVR in order to protect their ‘bottom line’.

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