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First Homes scheme launches with seven lenders signed up

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Written by: Anna Sagar
04/06/2021
The UK government’s First Homes scheme has launched today with the first houses going on sale at a minimum of 30% discount on open market value, with seven lenders announcing their support for the scheme.

Chorley Building Society, Darlington Building Society, Halifax, Leeds Building Society, Mansfield Building Society, Nationwide Building Society and Newcastle Building Society have confirmed that they will be providing 95% loan-to-value (LTV) mortgages for the scheme.

The scheme aims to help first-time buyers onto the property ladder with a minimum 30% discount on market price on certain new builds. Prices for properties must not exceed than £250,000 outside of London, or £420,000 in Greater London.

This discount will also be passed on with the property sale to future first-time buyers, which the government says will benefit local communities and key workers, who can be prioritised for these homes.

The government scheme is part of plans to deliver one million homes by 2024.

This first batch consists of 12 First Homes on the market today in Bolsover, East Midlands.

Government is aiming to deliver a further 1,500 homes by the autumn and has said at least 10,000 homes a year could be delivered in the years ahead if there is sufficient demand.

The government also today launched a campaign, Own Your Home, which provides resources on options for home ownership including the government-backed schemes available to first-time buyers.

Andy Mason, head of housing development mortgages at Halifax, said: “As the UK’s largest mortgage lender, we are proud to support the First Homes initiative which will help first-time buyers – particularly those in some of the most valued roles in our communities – to get a foot on the housing ladder.”

He added that the scheme could lead to savings on the market price of up to £107,000 outside of London and £180,000 in London. First-time buyers using the scheme could pay £5,350 less on the deposit and save £536 a month on repayments, Mason said.

The saving is based on the differential of buying a property at 70% of market price whilst taking a 95% LTV with a 4% fixed rate on 25-year repayment.

Nationwide’s mortgages director Henry Jordan said: “Deposits and affordability are the two major issues faced by all first-time buyers today, especially key workers who have played a vital role throughout the pandemic.

“This is why we are pleased to support the new First Home pilot, which aims to help them buy their first property.”

Newcastle Building Society’s chief executive Andrew Haigh added: “Home ownership can often feel out of reach for first time buyers – especially those without access to the bank of mum and dad.

“We’re committed to delivering innovative ways to help first-time buyers find affordable and sustainable ways to own their own home. We’re pleased to be one of the first lenders to support the scheme.”

Leeds Building Society’s CEO Richard Fearon said: “We’re pleased to be supporting the First Homes scheme, which aims to help people realise their dreams of owning their own home.

“Supporting schemes like this is a way to reaffirm our support for first-time buyers and other borrowers who are not well served by the wider market.”

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