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Supporting more people into home ownership

By Lucy Lewis, National Accounts Lead, Skipton Building Society

According to a recent report from Hamptons Estate Agents, 2023 saw a 10.2% jump in the monthly average rent in Great Britain, equivalent to the combined increases recorded in the years between 2016 and mid-2020.  The average rent is now 34% higher than in January 2020.

With this in mind, it is perhaps not surprising that many first time buyers have not been put off by the myriad challenges that they face when taking the first step on the property ladder.  Indeed, internal data from the Skipton Group (which includes Skipton Building Society and Hamptons Estate Agents) shows that first time buyers made up more than a quarter of the housing market in 2023 (in 2015 it was 16 per cent). 

With an array of options

Skipton’s first time buyer offering includes lending on 40-year terms, an Income Booster (JBSP) product with no requirement for up to 4 borrowers to be related, plus 95% LTV lending on Shared Ownership and New Build properties. The recent uplift in maximum loan to value for New Build flats means that a first time buyer with a five per cent deposit of their own and a five per cent builder’s gifted deposit can buy a New Build flat at 90 per cent loan to value.  A change that has been warmly welcomed by the brokers I have spoken to.

And innovative thinking

In May 2023, Skipton hit the headlines with the launch of its Track Record mortgage, a mortgage designed to help renters buy their first home, even when they had been unable to save for a deposit, by taking their rental payment history into account when assessing their affordability.  It’s been great to hear the stories of people whose dreams of owning a property have been brought to life by our Track Record product.  This includes people like 26 year old Leyla Mediolea and her 30-year-old partner Elliott Burke.

Leyla and Elliott were looking to become homeowners when they were told the rent on their one-bedroom flat was to increase from £1,500 a month to £1,950.  Like many renters, they found it difficult to save towards a property and the closure of the Help to Buy scheme meant there was one less option available to them.  Using Skipton’s Track Record mortgage, they were able to borrow £243,000 to purchase a two-bedroom flat. Their mortgage payment is lower than their rent was too, at £1,200 a month – an all too commonly known conundrum faced by renters.

Skipton’s wide range of options and willingness to innovate demonstrates our dedication to the first time buyer market.  It is our mission to help people achieve their homeownership goals, which is why we’re doing all we can to think outside the box and provide much-needed options to new buyers, working with brokers to provide people with the reassurance and confidence they need to become property owners.

To find out more about how Skipton are supporting you and your First Time Buyers visit Skipton Building Society for Intermediaries.