Please note: Leeds Building Society only accepts mortgage applications from intermediaries where they are providing an advised sales service, with the exception of Buy to Let & Holiday Let applications. It is the responsibility of the intermediary to ensure that all applicable law including, without limitation, the Financial Conduct Authority rules on advised mortgage sales are complied with including, without limitation, the provision of adequate explanations.

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What is in store for first time buyers in 2016?

As house price increases show no signs of abating, many first time buyers are choosing to take advantage of the low interest rate environment, with monthly payments as a percentage of income at a four-year low. The number of first time buyers was up by 23.7% annually in November, bringing in 31,300 applications – the most since August 2007[1]. Whilst the economy is difficult to predict, it is likely that rates will not increase significantly in the near future, meaning that there is no time like the present for a buyer to purchase their first home and brokers need to be prepared. So, what should brokers be aware of when it comes to first time buyers in 2016?

Shared ownership makes a comeback

Shared ownership is nothing new, but last month the Government announced it would be relaxing the rules under the scheme, opening it up to eligible applicants with a household income of under £80,000 and under £90,000 in London. With these changes coming into effect from April 2016, expect shared ownership to be placed firmly back on the map as first time buyers seek new options to help them to purchase their own home.

Rules relaxed in Northern Ireland

More and more low deposit mortgages are becoming available for first time buyers, as an increasing number of lenders are offering 95% LTV, meaning even more choice for buyers looking to get their foot on the ladder. At Leeds Building Society we are now lending up to 95% LTV on some of our products in Northern Ireland, making it easier for first time buyers with small deposits to purchase their own homes.

London Help to Buy comes into effect

To reflect the current property market in London, from this month the Government’s Help to Buy scheme is increasing the upper limit for loans it gives new buyers within Greater London from 20% to 40%, making Help to Buy a more viable option for first time buyers in the capital. Leeds Building Society is among the first lenders to join the initiative, and have launched its new range of London Help to Buy mortgages.

To find out more about Leeds Building Society’s new London Help to Buy mortgages, as well as other first time buyer products, click here or get in touch with the team on 03450 50 5555.

[1] Your Move & Reeds Rain First Time Buyer Tracker 2015 http://www.lslps.co.uk/documents/first_time_buyer_tracker_nov_15.pdf