The biggest challenge facing Borrowers right now is affordability. At The Nottingham, we've got some brilliant criteria points, like those shown below.
In the current market the truth is that many first-time buyers will need support to help them get on the property ladder with many looking to family for help and in 2022, 46% (170,000) of all mortgaged first-time buyers received family assistance with their deposit. At The Nottingham, we know how important that support is, which is why we accept 100% gifted deposits from immediate family members.
It’s just one of our criteria points that have been designed with first-time buyers in mind. Our 95% products are fee free and, like all our residential mortgages, they qualify for one free basic valuation and a subsidised homebuyer report, helping to keep costs down.
We make our affordability assessment based on real-time bank statements, rather than ONS data and our 40-year maximum term that allows borrowing up to the age of 75, gives borrowers the flexibility to opt for lower monthly repayments.
Also, we’ve recently increased our maximum Loan to Income ratio (LTI) to 5.5x a borrower’s household income and for the self-employed, although we usually like to see three years of trading figures, we’ll only assess earnings from the last 12 months.
It’s a great start, but as a building society our members are at the heart of our business and we’re committed to ensuring that we do all we can to support all borrowers, but especially first-time buyers. We’re working hard to provide solutions and you’ll see a raft of criteria changes and new propositions come to market this year to support customers buying their first home – watch this space.