Spotlight: HSBC two-year fixed-rate mortgage

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Life's tough for first-time buyers and those with little equity in their homes. But the Government and Bank of England have been striving to encourage banks and building societies to lend more, particularly by slashing interest rates.

So are we seeing "green shoots" in the mortgage market? HSBC announced a new range of mortgages, to be launched on Tuesday, included some market-leading products. HSBC will offer a two-year fix at 4.99 per cent for loans up to 90 per cent of property value. This is one percentage point lower than the cheapest two-year fix currently available for up to 90 per cent, from Yorkshire Bank.

The HSBC deal, for home purchases only, is available only to its Plus and Premier Plus current-account customers. The booking fee is high, at £1,499. However, HSBC will also offer an alternative two-year fix at 5.49 per cent. For anyone borrowing less than about £180,000, this will work out better value over the fixed term because the booking fee is just £199.

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