Money: Pay your mortgage, not someone else's

IT IS on average 37 per cent cheaper to buy a home than to rent, saving around pounds 100,000 over 25 years, according to research by Abbey National. The biggest saving - 58 per cent - is on buying a two-bedroomed flat, reducing to a 44 per cent saving on a three-bed terraced house, 34 per cent on a three-bed semi and 25 per cent on a four-bed detached house.

Lambeth building society is putting application forms on the internet for its Simply Tessa product, offering 7.95 per cent plus a bonus, equal to 8.37 per cent tax-free on first and follow-up Tessas. The address is apptess.htm.

Independent financial adviser, Towry Law, is offering a 10-page guide to redundancy and early retirement options to readers: telephone 0345- 868244.

Legal & General Bank is introducing a one-year fixed-rate deposit account which pays 7.25 per cent gross on pounds 2,500 invested, rising to 7.5 per cent on pounds 10,000 and 8 per cent on upwards of pounds 50,000.

Market Harborough building society is launching a 30-day notice account by post offering 7.65 per cent gross on investments between pounds 10,000 and pounds 25,000, with a monthly income option of 7.4 per cent. Withdrawals can be made via Midland Bank cash machines, subject to 30 days' loss of interest.

NPI, better known for its pensions, is offering a growth bond with a guaranteed return of 3.16 per cent net after six months on investments of pounds 10,000-pounds 50,000, equal to 6.42 per cent a year and worth 8.02 per cent gross at the standard rate of tax.

The Halifax is raising rates on some Guaranteed Reserve accounts to 7 per cent gross fixed for six months, 7.25 per cent fixed for 12 months and 6.75 per cent for two years and 6.55 per cent for three years on sums from pounds 2,000 to pounds 10,000, rising to 7.3 per cent fixed for six months, 7.5 per cent for a year and 6.85 per cent for two years on larger sums.