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Nationwide cuts low deposit lending to mitigate negative equity risk

Paloma Kubiak
Written By:
Paloma Kubiak

Nationwide has withdrawn its direct-only high loan to value (LTV) lending in the face of house price uncertainty to protect its borrowers from falling into negative equity.

The move means the lender has ended its dual pricing plan of lending up to 95% LTV in-branch but restricting lending to 85% LTV through its broker channel.

All new lending is now being equalised to a maximum of 85% LTV.

Henry Jordan, director of mortgages at Nationwide Building Society, said: “The outlook for the mortgage market and house prices remains uncertain.

“As a responsible lender we must factor this uncertainty into our lending assessments, which is why we have taken the decision to reduce our maximum LTV for new business.

“Our priority at this time must be to help members keep their homes. As such, we need to ensure our members can afford their repayments, while doing what we can to protect them from falling into negative equity.

“We will continue to keep this situation under review and hope to return to lending at higher LTVs in the near future.”

The society will still allow lending up to 95% LTV for product transfers and existing members moving home but for all new borrower house purchase, remortgages and first-time buyer lending, borrowers will need a deposit of at least 15%.

Nationwide is also reducing fixed rates at 60% LTV by up to 0.1% for borrowers remortgaging to the society. Two-year fixed rates will now start from 1.09% with a £1,499 fee and five-year fixed rates from 1.40% with a £999 fee.