Stamp duty in Inner London

There are just 387 properties currently for sale at £300,000 or less in London Travel Zones 1 and 2 that would be stamp duty exempt for first-time buyers, according to HouseSimple data.

Extending the search area to include Travel Zone 3, the number of stamp duty exempt properties increases to 1,235.

Not surprisingly, the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea has the fewest stamp duty exempt properties, with just six, including a tiny 113 square foot studio flat, in SW5, Earls Court. The boroughs of Camden and City of Westminster, both have just 18 stamp duty exempt properties currently on the market.

First time buyers should head to the borough of Croydon for the largest number of stamp duty exempt properties on the market today. Croydon has 795 properties

Santander change SVR

From the 23rd January onwards, Santander mortgage customers will automatically be moved onto a new follow-on rate at the end of their fixed or tracker rate period unless they choose a new product.

Previously, customers were automatically moved onto Santander’s SVR at the end of their product term, which is currently 4.74%.

Santander’s new follow-on rate is a variable rate that tracks at 3.25% above the Bank of England Base Rate, giving a current rate of 3.75%.
The differential of 3.25% is guaranteed for as long as customers remain on the product. The rate payable will track all changes in base rate, either upwards or downwards.
Citizens Advice recently urged the FCA to make all lenders provide clear information to new and existing customers about how much they could lose by rolling onto a standard variable rate.
Its research found that customers who are rolled onto their bank’s standard variable interest rate at the end of a fixed term mortgage deal face an average penalty of £439 a year.

Metro Bank cuts five-year fixed rates

Metro Bank has lowered rates on its five-year fixed rate range for mortgages up to £2 million.
New rates are available from 1.84% up to 65% LTV and 1.94% at 70% LTV, both with a £999 product fee.
More : Metro Bank cuts high-LTV rates and launches large loan range

Other rates in the range remain unchanged and its 90% LTV product has increased slightly from 2.54% to 2.59%.

Metro has also launched a new five-year fixed rate remortgage range. New 65% LTV rates start at 1.89% with a £999 fee or 2.09% fee-free.
70% LTV rates are available at 1.99% with a £999 product fee and 20bps higher fee-free.
The Bank’s 90% LTV remortgage product has also increased by 5bps.