Securing a mortgage is not impossible if you look beyond the high street. That’s the message from Dick Jenkins, chief executive of the Bath Building Society which in recent months has increased its lending book and launched a series of new mortgage products designed to help new entrants get on the housing ladder.
According to research released last month by Rightmove, the South West is among the worst regions for first-time buyers with just 17.6% of houses bought by people starting out on the property ladder. Scotland is the only region with a lower percentage.
Some two-in-five first-time buyers say raising a deposit is the single biggest challenge, seven-in-10 feel property is over-priced and one-in-five cites concerns about meeting monthly mortgage repayments as a barrier to buying.
“It’s disappointing that the region rates unfavourably with first-time buyers, especially set against a background of UK mortgage approvals in July being at their highest levels since May 2010,” said Mr Jenkins.
“However, Bath Building Society has long understood the pressures which first time buyers are under and has developed a range of new and innovative mortgages designed specifically to address the concerns of people looking to take their first steps on the property ladder and which offer genuine solutions for people in difficult situations.
“These include a Parent-Assisted Mortgage Scheme, Buy for Uni (Student Mortgages) and our new Income Plus Mates Mortgage which allows single borrowers to fund up to 50% of the loan amount from rental income (The amount being covered by rent must be no more than 3 x the borrower’s income).
“This market-leading approach to mortgages makes many more properties viable for the first-time buyer than would otherwise be the case. In the case of Income Plus, it enables an individual applicant to borrow the amount they need without having to get into a long term financial commitment with a friend. In this way Bath Building Society is helping the first-time buyer in the region.”