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Product Matters: Amber gets green light

As money-market rates have fallen, new lower fixed rates have become a daily occurrence in the mortgage market, with plenty of lenders jockeying for best buy coverage. Meanwhile, the non-conforming market has seen increased competition and as a consequence the borrower has been benefiting from improving rates.

With this as the backdrop, Amber has launched a new range and has chopped the rates on its fixed-rate products. The headline rate on its Feather adverse three-year fix is just 4.99 per cent, rising to 5.49 per cent for light adverse and 5.99 per cent for medium adverse. These rates apply for full-status applications and rates increase by 0.5 per cent for self-certification.

All too often, particularly in this market, a headline rate catches the eye, only to disappoint having scratched beneath the surface. These products certainly pass the first test, with early repayment charges only during the fixed-rate period. The arrangement fee is a respectable 495 and, as a touch of icing, the products even offer 500 cashback.

On the downside, a higher lending charge applies above 75 per cent.

The product caters for the lighter end of the non-conforming market but there is no harm in that. This is where the more fierce competition seems to be taking place.

Overall, I like the look of Amber’s new fixed rates. Anything below 5 per cent, no matter how light, has to be good for a competitive market.

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