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TODAY'S OTHER NEWS

Sharp rise in mortgage freebies

There has been a sharp rise in "mortgage freebies" as lenders increasingly compete on incentive packages rather than just price.

New research from Moneyfacts.co.uk shows that deals with an incentive package now represent three-quarters of the mortgage market.

While 1,578 mortgage deals had incentives five years ago, today that number has risen to 2,818.

Over the same period in cashback deals has leapt from 345 to 890.

Charlotte Nelson, finance expert at Moneyfacts, said: “A staggering 75% of the mortgage market now offers borrowers some form of incentive, an increase of 13% in just one year alone."

Nelson said lenders are finding it increasingly difficult to stand out from the crowd to attract new customers thanks to the “rate-cutting frenzy”.

“The incentive package is therefore is great way to distinguish themselves from other lenders.”

Incentives such as free legal fees, free valuation or even cashback can be really attractive given the cost of buying a home, Nelson said.

“Cashback is chiefly targeted towards first-time buyers who have even less cash to spare than most, so it’s understandable that cash rebates of up to £1,500 can turn the heads of mortgage hunters.”

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