Nationwide mortgage boost for first-time buyers

Nationwide is examining plans to make it easier for first-time buyers to get a mortgage with a 10 per cent deposit. 

Chief executive Joe Garner said the building society is looking at how it can ‘safely go further’ with loans to customers who need to borrow 90 per cent of a property’s value. 

Nationwide is one of the few major lenders with products for low-deposit customers. 

Safety first: Nationwide is one of the few major lenders with products for low-deposit customers

Safety first: Nationwide is one of the few major lenders with products for low-deposit customers

Safety first: Nationwide is one of the few major lenders with products for low-deposit customers

Most banks – wary of a potential fall in house prices – have pulled out after a deluge of applications. 

The building society now offers its 90 per cent loan-to-value mortgages to first-time buyers only. 

It will not lend to customers looking for a mortgage term of more than 25 years and it will turn down customers who are buying a newbuild property or a flat. 

Customers also need to have saved for at least part of the deposit themselves, rather than receiving all of the money from family members. 

Garner said Nationwide is looking at whether it could change those criteria to get more young people on the housing ladder. ‘Hopefully we are leading by example, and we constantly challenge ourselves to ask how we can safely go further,’ he said. 

Garner added: ‘I think it makes good business sense to be supporting this segment of the market and we will continue to do so. 

‘I don’t think any lender would sail through a pandemic without reviewing their lending policy. 

‘We are constantly looking at our lending criteria and we’ve made multiple changes and adaptations as we go along.’ 

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