Over the past four years, more than 8,000 homes have been purchased with Nationwide’s ‘save to buy’ scheme, the building society revealed yesterday (6 May).
Approximately £1.1bn has been loaned to customers, both first time buyers and home movers, for a home of their own. Those using the scheme have saved towards a mortgage or deposit for at least six months in a ‘save to buy’ account or Isa.
Nationwide said that in total, 90,000 savings accounts and Isas have been opened since the inception of the scheme in May 2011.
The current average savings or Isa account balance is £5,714. Save to buy was originally launched to help first-time buyers, but in January 2013 Nationwide widened the scheme to include home movers as well.
The average loan for mortgage applicants since launch, of which the majority are first-time buyers, is £145,000. The average deposit is £13,900. First-time buyers are aged 30 on average, while home movers are 32, and three quarters of mortgage applications are made in joint names.
Andrew Baddeley-Chappell, Nationwide’s head of policy for mortgages and savings, said: “At a time when the industry is developing plans to launch the Help to Buy Isa, Nationwide’s Save to Buy is providing a successful means for many customers to begin, or complete, the journey towards a home of their own.
“Over four years, we have helped many thousands of customers aiming to move onto or up the housing ladder to achieve their aspiration.
“Many people do not have the bank of mum and dad to depend upon. We have focussed our support on those who prudently plan ahead, save regularly and think about what they might need to apply successfully for a mortgage before finding a home.
“Save to buy helps mortgage applicants demonstrate good saving habits, money management and planning. Through this approach, we have helped our customers to help themselves to access low deposit mortgages and cashbacks to help with the costs of moving home.
“Save to buy helps Nationwide mortgage applicants to demonstrate how good saving habits and strong credit quality go hand in hand.”