FirstDirect will fix it

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The Independent Online
THE branchless bank, FirstDirect, is offering loans fixed at 9.85 per cent over five years and is the best buy in the fixed-rate mortgage market after Nottingham Building Society scrapped its fixed-rate mortgage last week. Abbey National has replaced the mortgage package launched at the beginning of this month, offering a 9.99 per cent fixed rate until November 1995, with a new package offering rates of 10.45 per cent fixed over four years.

Stroud and Swindon Fixed and Capped Rate Mortgage, with a fixed rate of 9.5 per cent for the first year and a capped rate of 10 per cent for years two and three, is now available through branches only as a result of limited funds.

In contrast to the market for fixed-rate mortgages, there has been little change among the variables. Halifax offers the best buy, with a 1.7 per cent first-year discount for first-time buyers, and overall large loan discounts. This gives initial rates of 8.5 per cent for loans of pounds 60,000- pounds 100,000 and 8.3 per cent for more than pounds 100,000. The first-time buyer discount is reduced to 1.2 per cent if the loan is more than 90 per cent of property value.

Now that Mortgage Services has withdrawn its cap from the market, the best deal comes from Bank of Ireland with rates of 8.99 per cent on mortgages of 80 per cent of purchase, or 9.35 per cent on 95 per cent of purchase or 85 per cent of remortgage and is capped until August 1993.

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