The best mortgage providers 2014

29 May 2014

With more than 8,000 mortgages to choose from at any one time, buyers have never needed more help when it comes to deciding on the best mortgage to suit their needs.

The Moneywise Mortgage Awards aims to recognise the very best products on the market and help you pick which will be best for you. The awards - which are now in their 10th year - cover eight different mortgage types and were judged by a panel of leading mortgage experts.

Winning the award for the best fixed-rate mortgage lender is Yorkshire Building Society's home-lending arm, Accord Mortgages.

Its fixed deal until July 2016 comes with a rate of 2.79% before reverting to a SVR of 4.99%. Judge Andrew Montlake of mortgage broker Coreco said: "Its consistency in market-leading or close-to-leading fixed rates, together with an improvement in its affordability calculator, has made YBS hard to ignore."

Taking home the prize in the buy-to-let category is first-time winner Santander. With competitive rates, free valuations, and flat-rate fees, the judges felt the bank's offering was worthy of top spot.

David Hollingworth of London & Country said: "Having previously only dabbled in buy to let, Santander has shown a real appetite to be a major player with a strong range."

With the introduction of Help to Buy, more and more attention has been heaped on first-time buyers and the problems they face. Fittingly the winner of the first time buyer category was Nationwide, which has been offering 95% LTV mortgages longer than many of its rivals. Ray Boulger from brokerage John Charcol said: "It has a good track record of providing competitive products at that level."

And there was more good news for Nationwide as it was named best lender for remortgages as well, narrowly beating Skipton Building Society into second place. Montlake said it has some "excellent product offerings and decent service."

And finally, with the raft of new mortgage products on the market, the Leeds Building Society was voted as mortgage innovator of the year.

With its Welcome Mortgage, borrowers are able to reduce the interest rate to 0% for the first few months of their term so they can free up some cash to help them settle into their new home. They will still need to pay off the capital during this period but the interest discount can come in handy, with Boulger describing it as a "genuinely innovative" product.

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The winners

Best lender for fixed rates
Winner – Yorkshire Building Society
Highly commended – Nationwide

Best lender for discount
Winner – Skipton Building Society
Highly commended – Melton Building Society

Best lender for offset
Winner – Yorkshire Building Society
Highly commended – Hinckley & Rugby

Best lender for buy-to-Let
Winner – Santander
Highly commended – Principality

Best lender for lifetime trackers
Winner – Santander
Highly commended – Hinckley & Rugby

Best lender for first-time buyers
Winner – Nationwide
Highly commended – Santander

Best lender for remortgages
Winner – Nationwide
Highly commended – Skipton

Innovator of the year
Winner – Leeds Building Society
Highly commended – Halifax

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