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Have mortgage lenders finally got the message?

Over the last few days we have seen a number of building societies stepping up to the mark with regards to mortgage lending in the UK and today we saw Halifax offer up to 0.5 percentage points off future mortgage arrangements. On the surface it would seem that mortgage lenders in the UK have finally "got the message" but is this really the case?

While there's no doubt we have seen a short-term shift in competition in the UK mortgage arena, perhaps this is only because of the ongoing threat of a potential double dip recession in the UK. Have UK mortgage lenders finally realised that without increased liquidity in the marketplace, at competitive rates, there is little or no chance of an increase in demand for properties which will surely kill any potential recovery in the short to medium term?

The truth is that mortgage lenders in the UK will ultimately do what is best for them taking account of market forecasts and the risk/reward ratio. The authorities may well try to steal some of the thunder from the mortgage lenders markets but ultimately the UK banking arena is very much a law unto itself and no government in the recent past has proved to be strong enough or sharp enough to challenge their power.

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