Mortgages  

Monmouthshire joins Welsh Help to Buy

The building society, based in south-east Wales, has introduced a three-year discount-rate mortgage at 2.75 per cent and a three-year fixed-rate deal at 2.95 per cent under the umbrella of the Help to Buy: Wales equity loan scheme.

Mr Lewis said the three-year products, which come with a £99 fee, would cement the building society’s reputation as a “dynamic and approachable provider of competitive mortgage loans”.

Building societies have been quick to sign up to the Welsh branch of the government’s equity loan initiative since it launched in January.

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Nationwide and Principality have both unveiled 95 per cent mortgages, underpinned by shared equity loans from the Welsh government worth 20 per cent. Only Swansea Building Society, one of the UK’s smallest mutuals is not on board.

Alun Williams, chief executive of Swansea Building Society, said the society would not join the Help to Buy scheme as it only presented a short-term stimulus.

In Scotland, 200 people are living in homes bought through the nation’s own equity loan scheme, according to official figures.

The Scottish government said there had been 1205 applications by January, as Nicola Sturgeon, deputy first minister, insisted the scheme was open to so-called ‘second-steppers’ as well as people buying their first property.

The Royal Bank of Scotland Group and its various subsidiaries, as well as Barclays, have started offering mortgages under the scheme north of the border. They join Leeds Building Society and Nationwide.

Barclays, Natwest and Santander also support the separate mortgage guarantee scheme, available nationally, joining Aldermore, Virgin Money, RBS, Lloyds, Halifax and HSBC.

Bank of Ireland and Ulster Bank are two of Northern Ireland’s big-four banks who have so far agreed to offer mortgages to borrowers under the mortgage guarantee scheme.

Adviser view

Martin McCudden, IFA for North Wales-based Smith, Law & Shepherds IFA, said: “Even in the last week, we have seen Help to Buy in Wales really coming into its own with the recent addition of the new lenders.”

Key facts: England

- Westminster has been keen to stress buoyant take-up rates for Help to Buy in England. Recent statistics showed the equity loan scheme led to 12,875 sales of newly built properties in the nine months since it began.

- The second wave of government housing support came in the form of the mortgage guarantee scheme. It attracted 6000 applications in just two months, according to statistics published by the government on 2 January, though the number of completed sales stands at just 750.