Mortgages  

Nationwide re-opens Help to Buy mortgage

Nationwide is offering home movers Help to Buy mortgages again just two months after it restricted access, Richard Napier has said.

The divisional director of mortgages and savings said: “Nationwide has been a long-term supporter of the Help to Buy equity loan scheme. By opening up access once more to home movers after a short break, we will remain one of the top lenders through the scheme and will enable even more customers to move onto or up the housing ladder.”

In July 2014, Nationwide temporarily pulled access to Help to Buy mortgages for home movers, restricting access to first-time buyers only.

At the time, Nationwide stated the step was necessary to ensure volumes remained in line with the society’s lending target.

However, since 24 September, Nationwide’s Help to Buy equity loan has been made available to home buyers purchasing their only property in England up to a value of £600,000. Buyers must have a 5 per cent deposit, based on the purchase price.

As a result of the changes, shared equity applications will be available on both the fee and no-fee products.

This means customers applying through the Help to Buy equity loan scheme now have unrestricted access to Nationwide’s full core range.

In addition to the Help to Buy changes, Nationwide will no longer charge a booking fee for all new mortgages.

Mortgage deals will be either fee-free or come with a £999 product fee, with a discounted £499 fee for first-time buyers.

Customers opting for a mortgage with a fee can continue to add this to the loan.

Background

This follows a similar move from Lloyds Banking Group. In August, the company revealed that it was cutting the amount it is prepared to lend by 70 per cent, from £500,000 to £150,000.

At the time, a spokesman for Lloyds said the measure was “temporary” and had been implemented because, as one of the UK’s biggest lenders, it had become “heavily exposed” to that part of the housing market.

Adviser view

David Hollingworth, associate director of London & Country Mortgages, said: “The availability of core products to Help to Buy equity loan borrowers is a boost when most lenders price specific deals, especially given Nationwide’s competitive position.”