First-time Buyer 

West Brom targets first-time buyers

West Brom targets first-time buyers

The West Brom Building Society has reduced rates and increased the maximum loan size on its high loan to value products to attract first-time buyers.

Borrowers with a 5 per cent deposit can now borrow up to £350,000 — up from the previous £250,000 limit — and rates have been reduced on the firm’s 95 per cent LTV product range by up to 0.15 percentage points.

Borrowers can get a two-year fixed at 2.84 per cent, down from 2.99 per cent — and the society’s five-year fixed at has reduced from 3.59 per cent to 3.44 per cent.

West Brom has also introduced a three-year fixed rate mortgage at 3.14 per cent.

The products come with no booking or completion fees, a free first standard valuation and £1,500 of cashback on some policies.

Richard Scott, the West Brom’s head of intermediaries, said: "We recognise the importance of helping the next generation of homeowners to secure their first property and have proven experience in providing a choice of good value mortgage products.

"These changes should help to broaden the West Brom’s reach in this particular market segment."

Commenting on West Brom’s move, Nicholas Morrey, product technical manager at John Charcol, said: "Anything that gives the public more and better options we welcome. Being able to go to 95 per cent for a loan up to £350,000 will make it more possible for some first-time buyers to own their first home — especially outside London.

"The rate is quite competitive, which is to borrowers’ benefit, but not market leading unfortunately. In addition, there are several other lenders whose maximum loan size at 95 per cent is actually £500,000 but they are likely to be slightly less flexible with their criteria than a building society.

"But for the West Bromwich, this is a significant step forward that we welcome on behalf of first-time buyers around the country."

First-time buyers have been shoring up the housing market this year. Data for February showed while the number of home owners moving house remained steady, the number of first-time buyers completing mortgages increased by 4.1 per cent year on year.

imogen.tew@ft.com