Nationwide increases max loan-to-income ratio for first-time buyers

Nationwide is to launch a new mortgage that will enable first-time buyers the option of borrowing up to 5.5 times their income when taking a five or 10-year fixed rate up to 90% LTV.

The society’s ‘Helping Hand’ mortgage will mean a first-time buyer couple with a joint income of £50,000 could borrow up to £275,000, rather than the £225,000 they could borrow previously.

In the last financial year, Nationwide has helped one in six first-time buyers and also expanded its higher LTV lending to house purchasers and existing members moving home.

From 26 April, there will be £1bn of lending made available via the society’s Helping Hand in order to support more first-time buyers onto the property ladder. Nationwide stated that it will apply a lower stress rate and higher maximum loan-to-income ratio where applicants opt for one of its standard five or 10-year fixed rate products, to enable an uplift in affordability of up to 20%, and allow more people to buy their first property up to a maximum 90% LTV.

First-time buyers using Helping Hand will have access to the society’s standard product range, with consistent product rates, fees and features, and all applications will be subject to robust underwriting checks.

Nationwide director of mortgages, Henry Jordan, commented: “In the UK there are nearly five million private rented households, but many of these renters have dreams and aspirations of buying a home of their own.

“However, with household incomes rising at a slower rate than house prices, many first-time buyers are finding it increasingly hard to get onto the property ladder. Our new Helping Hand option supports borrowers in meeting the affordability requirements, making it easier for them to buy a home of their own.”

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