If you're looking for a new mortgage deal or you'd like to gain a footing on the property ladder, you might be best going straight to your bank or building society.
Research by HSBC has found that of the 96 mortgage deals that have held the position of lowest rate on the market over the last two years, only on six occasions could a broker have offered a deal to beat the equivalent best loan offered by direct lenders.
The figures cover the four most popular mortgage categories: two year fixed rates, five year fixed rates, two year trackers or discounts and lifetime trackers.
The most marked discrepancy between rates available directly and through intermediaries was seen in the two year tracker and discounted mortgage category.
Over the last two years, the cheapest such mortgage has been 0.47% less costly direct than it has been through a broker. Similarly, for lifetime trackers, the average margin has been 0.32%, while two year fixeds have been 0.26% cheaper on average.
Five year fixed rates have been 0.19% cheaper by going direct, compared with a broker.
Martijn van der Heidjen, head of mortgages at HSBC, said the figures highlighted how much the mortgage market has changed in the last two years.
At the height of the property market boom, brokers sold as many as seven in ten mortgages. The credit crunch has changed this, however, with broker exclusive deals far less common.
"No one can argue that shopping around isn't the most sensible approach to take when looking for a new mortgage," added Mr. van der Heidjen.
"Going to a broker can be a useful part of this process, but as this research clearly shows it definitely shouldn't be seen as the route to guaranteeing you the best deal."
Using the Moneyfacts.co.uk Best Buy tables can really help you with your search. They are updated regularly to include the most competitive rates across the market.
For borrowers looking to fix their rate for a two year term, Yorkshire Building Society (with a rate of 2.99%) and ING Direct (3.09%) offer the best mortgage rates today.
Over the fixed term of three years, ING Direct (3.89%), Yorkshire Building Society (3.99%) and The Co-operative Bank (4.69%) all currently offer some of the best fixed rate mortgages around.
For those looking to fix their repayments for the longer term of five years, then Yorkshire Building Society (4.19%) is again currently offering one of the best mortgage deals around.
Find the best mortgage rates - Compare best selling mortgages
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