Building society mortgages and in-branch Post Office mortgage specialists

Posted: 09/08/2012

Due to the lowering popularity of big high street banks, more and more building societies have started to offer mortgages. Figures from the Building Societies Association state that building societies have lent £14.1 billion within the first six months of this year and the number of mortgage approvals was up by 45%.

However, mortgage lending has dropped in general due to the economic climate and the tightening of lending criteria from the large high street banks. Santander announced cuts to their mortgage rates and fees but on the other hand, smaller building societies have been busy. This is due to smaller building societies increasing the size of their mortgage range and are also lending to those that banks have turned down.

In other news, the Post Office are planning to trial an in-branch scheme where customers can talk face to face with a mortgage specialist. This scheme will be piloted in five of the Post Offices most popular branches in Norwich, Birmingham, Walsall, Solihull and Luton.

The scheme is designed to allow customers to ask specialists which mortgage out of the Post Office’s vast range they qualify for and how much they can borrow but they will not be given advice on which one to choose. The scheme is also designed to help those who do not have access to the Post Office website as the head of the Post Office Mortgages, Mike Cook stated that 75% of loans were applied for through the Post Office website.

The Post Office currently have over 20 mortgage deals consisting of 2, 3 and 5 year fixed mortgages as well as 2 year trackers with different interest rates and fees. Their lowest rate is 3.29% on a 2 year fixed deal with a £995 arrangement fee. If their in branch mortgage specialist scheme takes off, it will be rolled out nationwide.

Would you consider applying for a mortgage from a building society or would you like to speak to one of the Post Offices mortgage specialists?

Amanda McGovern, Pali Ltd

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