HomeBuy picks up speed

The combined total that the Yorkshire and Advantage have invested in the Open Market HomeBuy scheme has reached over £150m since its launch last year.

The scheme, aimed at helping key workers get on the property ladder, is a joint venture between the government and four lenders – Nationwide, the Yorkshire, Advantage and HBOS.

Since the launch of the scheme last November, the Yorkshire has achieved £100m in mortgage applications while Advantage has hit £70m.

Nationwide and HBOS declined to disclose their figures, saying the information was commercially sensitive.

The government says its funding allowance for the scheme totals £230m, but it cannot confirm how much of this has been handed out so far.

A spokesman for the Yorkshire says: “The scheme is close to our building society origins of helping people into home ownership. We are therefore delighted to be one of the main provi-ders involved in this initiative which is helping key workers get on the property ladder in areas where house prices have spiralled out of their reach.

“Despite the scheme getting off to a slow start due to the process of confirming customers’ eligibility, Open Market HomeBuy has taken off at a more rapid rate than we anticipated.”

Keith Dearling, managing director of Advantage, says: “We have had a positive response to the scheme and seen a

continuing demand for the products.

“We will support anything that helps first-time buyers get on the property ladder.”

The Yorkshire is the only lender to offer a fixed rate mortgage through the scheme, although Nationwide says it is also considering launching a fixed rate deal.