Help for first-time buyers helps us all

P13 IAIN MALLON
IAIN MALLON, DIRECTOR OF PROTECTION MARKETING, FRIENDS PROVIDENT

We know that first-time buyer mortgages at higher LTVs have been scarce in recent years. But some good news for borrowers with limited deposits emerged last week.

According to The Guardian newspaper, there has been a steady increase in the number of lenders offering higher LTV products.

Lenders no doubt feel they are caught between the need to lend responsibly while offering greater access to loans, an issue we have been aware of for some time.

The increase in the number of higher LTV products and other innovations can only be a positive thing for the market, as it means many individuals who otherwise saw getting on the property ladder as a pipe dream have more options.

One option is through the collaborations between mortgage providers and housing developers to entice first-time buyers into new developments.

Bovis, for instance, has collaborated with Woolwich to offer 90% LTV mortgages, while Barratt and Hitachi Capital have joined forces to help young buyers by offering their parents a £50,000 loan to give their offspring.

This could create opportunities for our industry. As more people dip their toe in the water for the first time they will need guidance and protection, even more so because of the economy and lack of confidence in the housing market.

We can offer expert advice and provide protection packages to those who need it most, paving the way for better times ahead.