A new mortgage plan that could save housebuyers up to Pounds 2,350 is being offered by the Teachers' Building Society.
The society's Double Discount plan gives employed applicants, who do not have to be teachers, a one-year 0.5 per cent discount off the society's current base rate, which stands at 8.10 per cent. The Teachers' Building Society also pays all the applicant's costs - including stamp duty, mortage valuation fee, mortgage indemnity premium, solicitors' charges up to Pounds 325, conveyancing costs up to Pounds 229, and a final inspection fee.
Applicants who are members of the National Union of Teachers or one of its affiliated bodies will also qualify for a further bonus - their current year's union subscription will be paid by the society.
The offer is only available on post-1900 properties costing no more than Pounds 80,000 that are being bought for owner-occupation. The maximum loan is 90 per cent of the purchase price or lower valuation. The minimum is Pounds 30,000.
Hugh Nichols, the society's assistant general manager, said he believed the Double Discount plan was unique. "I think it is important for a relatively small society like ours not to imitate others but to design our own value-for-money plans."
* Staff unions from the Teachers' Pensions Agency this week lobbied Robin Squire, Under-Secretary of State for Education, to protest at plans to privatise the agency. The minister was handed a petition signed by virtually every staff member at the agency's Darlington headquarters.