Mobile only Atom Bank made a splash last week when it launched the cheapest-ever five-year mortgage in the UK. 

Offering rates of 1.29% and a reasonable £900 fee, the fixed-rate product was markedly cheaper than other comparable mortgages available. 

Sadly for those hoping to take advantage, the deal was pulled yesterday – just one week after launching.

And it’s not the only financial product offer that’s had the ‘blink-and-you-miss-it’ treatment in recent times.

However, you can still find good deals by doing a bit of research and remaining flexible.  

The new normal?

Tesco’s 3% current account was pulled within days of it promising the rate would be fixed until April 2019.  

It’s only recently returned, with a couple of caveats thrown in to stem the flow of applicants.

Savings account rates are sometimes only available for a limited period too.

In any case, the trend for financial products seems to be moving towards ‘flash sales’, which are a big hit with clothing retailers and holiday companies.

[Read more: the hidden costs of buying a new build property]

What are flash sales?

Flash sales offer goods at vastly reduced price and disappear after a very short period of time.

Budget airlines regularly run them to boost ticket sales or generate interest in a new flight route.

And you can see the appeal to financial companies. 

By offering a great rate for a short period, a bank can garner great publicity while limiting the total number of customers they take on board.

Andrew Montlake, director at mortgage broker Coreco, told the Financial Times:

“When you’re seeing deals like that — clearly designed to disrupt the market and attract attention — they don’t last long.”

The presents a new challenge for customers.

If a top mortgage can be launched and subsequently pulled in the space of a week, it means you effectively need to check for deals on an almost daily basis to avoid losing out.