KEY TIME FOR FIRST-TIMERS; Low rates and help packages bring a housing boom.
Byline: TRICIA PHILLIPS PERSONAL FINANCE EDITOR
FIRST-TIME buyers have never had it so good… meaning now could be
the ideal time for them to make their move.
Mortgage rates are at an all-time low, there is a much bigger
choice of products and a whole range of extra measures to help those
with smaller deposits get on the
It’s no wonder that in February this year loans to first-time
buyers hit the highest levels seen since 2005, as figures from the
latest Nationwide House Price Index show 43% of all approved mortgages
were to first-time buyers. It’s just what the struggling property
market needs to help kick start a recovery.
Andrew Hagger, from Moneycomms.co.uk, says: “The mortgage
market is now a much more welcoming place for first-time buyers compared
to just two years ago.
“In May 2011 there were 1,050
n → persona que compra su primera vivienda
n → personne achetant une maison ou un appartement pour la première fois
products to choose from. Now that number is almost 1,600.
“And rates – in part thanks to the Funding For Lending Scheme
– have also become much more affordable. Two years ago the best
three-year mortgage with a 10% deposit was 5.99%, compared to just 3.99%
today. That means on a PS100,000 mortgage you would have been paying
PS644 per month – PS117 more than you would with First Direct’s
best buy at 3.99%, saving PS4,212 over the three-year term.”
Here’s our guide to
FIRST-TIME BUYER SCHEMES
LEND A HAND
What: Mortgage rate is fixed for three years at 4.20% on loans from
PS5,000 up to PS350,000.
How: You’ll need a cash deposit of at least 5% of the property
value and the backing of someone who wants to help you by putting their
savings, 20% of the property value, up as additional security for the
mortgage. The helper will receive interest at 2.70% AER/2.67% gross for
three and a half years.
Example: Property price: PS100,000. Your deposit amount: PS5,000.
Helper puts PS20,000 in a Lend a Hand
Your mortgage is 95%, but you get access to similar mortgage rates
to people with a 75% mortgage.
LLOYDS LOCAL LEND A HAND
Similar to the above. First-time buyers put down at least 5% of the
value of the property and get a Local Lend a Hand mortgage for the
remainder. The local authority gives a cash-backed indemnity of up to
20% of the house value as extra security. There are currently 47 local
authorities on board, with more set to join during 2013.
BARCLAYS FAMILY SPRINGBOARD
What: Mortgage rate is fixed for three years at 4.69%, plus a PS499
How: You’ll need a deposit of at least 5% and a
“helper” to put down a further 10%, which goes into a Helpful
Start Account, earning 2% interest. After three years they get their
money back, with interest, provided mortgage repayments are kept up to
What: A Government scheme that lets you buy a new home from a main
developer with a deposit of 5%.
How: The mortgage is provided by a high street lender working in
conjunction with the builder of the development. You still need to prove
you are o ncsr wmEonda
Having an acceptable credit rating.
and can afford to service the
mortgage repayments, just as you would with a standard mortgage product.
Example: Nationwide BS is offering a three-year fixed new-buy
mortgage on 5% deposits at 4.44% with a PS99 fee and Halifax 4.69% fixed
for eight years, with no fee.
HELP TO BUY
What: An equity loan scheme announced in the March 2013 budget for
first-time buyers and home movers on new builds up to the value of
How: You purchase a new-build home with a 5% deposit, while
borrowing a further 20% interest free from the Government. You
won’t be charged loan fees for the first five years. In year six
you’ll pay 1.75% of the equity loan value – after this the fee
increases each year by
HELP TO BUY (GUARANTEE)
From April 2014, the Help to Buy guarantee scheme comes into play
where homebuyers put down between 5% and 20% by way of deposit while the
government provides the lender with a guarantee for up to 15% of the
This scheme is not restricted to new-build properties.
The details of this scheme are still to be finalised and it will be
interesting to see how the pricing stacks up
when the time comes
HALIFAX STAMP-DUTY OFFER
What: First-time buyers applying for a mortgage with Halifax can
benefit from up to PS2,500 cashback, with the lender covering the cost
How: Borrowers will be reimbursed for the Stamp Duty paid on
purchases between PS125,000 and PS250,000 across Halifax’s mortgage
range, including its 3.24%, no fee, two-year fixed rate mortgage for 20%
deposits and 3.79% on 15% deposits.
Example: On a PS150,000 property, Halifax will pay the PS1,500
Stamp Duty bill.
LOCAL AUTHORITY MORTGAGE SCHEME
What: Help for first-time buyers in a selection of areas.
How: Leeds is the only provider to offer a five-year fixed deal on
LAMS Local Area Missile System
, which it has reduced by 0.50%, to 4.99%. Available through 10
local authorities – Leeds, Warrington, Bristol, Blackpool, Watford,
Que., Canada: see Trois Rivières.
, Stevenage and Dacorum
– who place funds with the UK’s fifth largest building society as
additional security on loans.
VITAL TIPS FOR NEW BUYERS
THE most important thing for any first-time buyer entering the
property market is to set a budget and stick to it.
Make sure you take account of all the financial costs when it comes
to house buying.
For example, solicitors and legal fees, Stamp Duty Land Tax (which
is payable on residential property purchases over PS125,000), buildings
, the cost of any mortgage protection (to cover
the outstanding loan on death or critical illness) or
(which covers the monthly mortgage payments in the
event of accident, sickness or unemployment) as well as council tax and
These costs should all be factored in to your budget as an overall
part of your mortgage costs.
Take advantage of current ultra-low rates and fix your repayments
for the next five years. This will give you peace of mind and easy
budgeting. Plus you’ll save on the product fees compared with
shorter, two-year term mortgages.
Get the biggest deposit possible. If you can save an extra 5%
towards the deposit you’ll benefit from a lower interest rate and
start life with a smaller mortgage debt. It’s no easy task but if
it means staying at home with your parents for an extra year or two,
it’ll be worth it.
Always seek advice from a qualified and whole-of-market mortgage
adviser or mortgage broker. This will help you find the right mortgage
for your circumstances. Click on “find a mortgage adviser” at
www.unbiased.co.uk to find one in your area.
Get an agreement in principle from your lender before property
hunting. This will give you an idea how much you can borrow.
When you have an offer accepted, consider getting a
Homebuyer’s Report rather than a survey. A basic survey is a
requirement of mortgage lenders and will confirm the property is broadly
worth what you have offered.
However, this survey will not tell you much about the condition or
any major faults, whereas a Homebuyer’s Report should highlight
areas of concern.
The extra you pay for a more comprehensive survey is money well
spent – the cost of putting a structural defect right could cost
thousands. Your mortgage lender will have approved firms you should use
for the survey. Allow between PS300 and PS1,000, plus VAT.
OUR FAST TRACK ON TO PROPERTY LADDER
NEW BUYers Tyler Smith and Mark first-home purchase,” NEW
buyers Tyler Smith and Mark Rice can’t wait to get the keys to
their new home in Worksop.
The couple, who both currently live with their parents, have been
saving up for six years to get a deposit together.
They have managed to get on the property ladder quicker – thanks to
Lloyds bank’s Local Lend a Hand scheme.
“Getting this helping hand means we have fast-forwarded our
first-home purchase,” says Tyler.
“We almost had the 10% we would have needed to afford a
mortgage but still needed a bit more.
“But this scheme only needed a 5% deposit, which is brilliant
for us as we will have some cash left over to buy some bits of furniture
– otherwise we would have found ourselves sitting on boxes in empty
Tyler, 24, and Mark, 27, are buying a two-bedroom semi for PS86,500
and have secured a mortgage deal at 4.34% as their local council has put
up 20% of the property value, backing up their loan and meaning the
couple got a more affordable rate.
Tyler says: “It’s great that there are schemes to help
people like us get the keys to their first home and also help boost the
whole property market. Our purchase is helping kick-start a whole chain
of people move.”
The mortgage market is much more welcoming than it was two years
ago LEndER dEpoSIT REqUIREd RaTE FEE MonTHLY REpaYMEnT on PS100,000
MoRTgagE ToTaL CoST oVER TERM 2 YEaR FIxEd RaTE MoRTgagES Post Office
15% 3.49% Nil PS500.09 PS12,002.16 Yorkshire BS 10% 3.99% PS475 PS527.28
PS13,129.72 3 YEaR FIxEd RaTE MoRTgagES First Direct 10% 3.99% PS999
PS527.28 PS19,981.08 Nottingham BS 15% 3.59% PS299 PS505.46 PS18,495.56
5 YEaR FIxEd RaTE MoRTgagES Hanley Economic BS 10% 4.20% Nil PS538.94
PS32,336.40 The Co-op Bank 15% 3.69% Nil PS510.87 PS30,652.20 BEST BUYS
FoR YoUR FIRST MoRTgagE source: Moneycomms.co.
MOVING IN Mark and Tyler