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The £1 million mortgage market is now at its most competitive since the financial crisis.

Rates have fallen and choice increased in the last four months as high street lenders such as NatWest, Santander, Virgin, Halifax and Woolwich re-entered the large mortgage market, according to brokers Springtide Capital.

£1 million-plus loans have been the preserve of the private banks for the last five years, but there is now a significant shift towards the retail banks offering purely transactional deals and battling for the business.

This will spark heightened competition for high net worth clients among retail and private banks, which will force down the cost of £1 million mortgages over the next 12 months.

Henry Knight, managing director of Springtide Capital, said: "Following the financial crisis we witnessed high street lenders withdraw from the large loan market, leaving the opportunities with the private banks.

"Now that the likes of NatWest, Santander, Virgin, Halifax and Woolwich have all come back to the market with new propositions, we can expect to see more competition and innovation amongst all banks.

"The significant difference is that private banks will invariably be looking for a wider relationship, often insisting on funds under management, whereas high street lenders are able to offer this level of finance without asking for any such commitment.  

"We therefore expect to see increased pressure on private banks, resulting in rates falling in the months ahead for both those purchasing and refinancing."


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