Barclays to launch 'no fee' mortgage deals

Barclays is stepping up competition in the 90% mortgage market by introducing new "zero fee" deals from tomorrow.

Through its mortgage arm Woolwich, Barclays will offer buyers with a 10% deposit a three-year fixed deal at a rate of 4.99% and no fee.

Also included in the new range is an application fee-free 90% LTV (loan-to-value) five-year "loyalty" mortgage, for customers who hold a Barclays current account, at a fixed rate of 5.49%. Borrowers who do not qualify need to pay a £499 fee.

All the deals revert to a lifetime tracker of 3.39% above the base rate after the fixed rate period ends.

The deals come at a time when the struggle for first-time buyers to get on the property ladder and soaring rents have been highlighted.

Rightmove's Consumer Rental Forecast found this week that 55% of tenants in the rental sector are "trapped renters" - those who would like to buy but cannot afford to.

Mortgage lenders have been ramping up the competition as the Bank of England keeps the base rate at a historic 0.5% low.

Comparison website Moneyfacts said there are 256 maximum 90% LTV mortgages on the market, up from 206 a year ago and more than double that of two years ago, when consumers had only a choice of 101 mortgages.

Moneyfacts said that a year ago, there was only one maximum 90% LTV three-year fixed mortgage with a rate of under 5% - and now there are 16 three-year fixed rate mortgages under 5% and one below 4%.

A Moneyfacts spokeswoman said: "Any additional maximum 90% LTV introduced to the market is good news for customer choice, as higher loan-to-value mortgages have tended to be few and far between and expensive.

"This new three-year fixed-rate deal has no arrangement fee and has a rate below 5%, which is good news for those with limited equity in their property and looking to move home.

"The fact that this new deal requires only a 10% deposit will be welcome news for borrowers."

Andy Gray, head of mortgages for Barclays, said the lender recognised the importance of supporting the first-time buyer market.

He said higher LTV mortgages with more competitive rates have started to come through this year and Barclays' deals would encourage home buyers and remortgage customers.