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Lenders cut fees to entice mortgage borrowers

Paloma Kubiak
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Paloma Kubiak

Lenders have lowered product fees and ramped up incentives to coax customers in this year’s competitive fixed-rate market, research reveals.

Mortgage product fees fell by 2.4 per cent on average year-on-year. Average fees were £1,022 as of 1 December 2019, down from £1,047 at the same point last year.

Fees were removed completely on 41 per cent of fixed-rate deals, according to the Moneyfacts data.

As for other incentives, free valuations are included with 69 per cent of fixed rate products and free legals on 50 per cent.

Rachel Springall, finance expert at Moneyfacts, said lenders no longer just compete on rate, but will also tailor their product fees and incentives to entice borrowers too.

“Lenders may well be cutting fixed rates to enticing lows, but not all borrowers will be drawn in by the initial rate alone. Indeed, there could be borrowers who want to save on the upfront cost of the deal, such as with product fees or paying out on other fundamentals,” she said.

Springall added: “Remortgage customers, in particular, may be considering a new deal if they are on a variable rate because of the fixed mortgage rate war. It is entirely possible that these same borrowers are looking to switch from their current lender. They may then wish to avoid paying hundreds of pounds in fees to secure a new mortgage deal in the run up to Christmas, whether it be a product fee, instructing a valuation or appointing a solicitor.”