Last year, the competition for Mortgage of the Year was fiercely contested. This year, the competition has been just as strong, but the environment couldn't have been more different. The effects of the bus-prime meltdown in the US have rippled through the markets and, when coupled with successive rate rises, have created a very different competitive landscape.

Over the past year, the banks, who have taken something of a beating from non-bank lenders in terms of mortgage offerings, were quick to point out that the smaller lenders were particularly exposed to the sub-prime market turmoil. Shaking confidence in smaller lenders certainly had an impact with investors and borrowers alike, but shortly thereafter the banks themselves declared the need to raise rates will past already soaring interest rates. Even the Prime Minister commented on the rate rises and hinted at future regulations to force the mortgage sector to make transferring between lenders easier.

So, with the market conditions changed dramatically, have we seen much change in the lender leaderboard? You bet we have. We have a completely new leader lineup for both non-bank lenders and banks. And the offerings of the winner are more diverse than ever before.

The only commen trend between last year's competition and this year's is that even while rates are up across teh board, there is still massive competition in terms of value-added features and options.

Who won? Which lender as the Mortgage of the Year? Find our in this months issue of Your Mortgage magazine, on sale now.