FTB market innovation is always welcome

Trevor Youens, director, Flower IFA Innovation in the first-time buyer market is long overdue and the recent moves made by Bank of Ireland to launch a more user-friendly guarantor scheme should ensure that other lenders follow suit with similar products offering young people the chance to get their foot on the ladder. More traditional guarantor mortgages are less popular largely because the guarantor&#39s commitments are often such that they cannot provide sufficient income to cover both their own mortgage and that of the relative they are trying to assist.

The BM Solutions/Mortgage Partnership product allowing up to four friends to buy together is fine but relies on people staying friends. It puts me in mind of the rush to buy houses before the MIRAS deadline when four people bought a house together, fell out over who was going to do the washing up and sold it in negative equity.

We are seeing an increasing number of enquiries from key workers in all of our areas of coverage – mainly teachers police and health workers. It seems to be more attractive to people than the more traditional do-it-yourself shared ownership schemes that have dominated the market in recent years. The only downside in the Thames Valley is that, even with up to £25,000 being provided, some people are still finding it hard to find affordable and suitable properties. Lenderwise we tend to use Nationwide, Abbey and Halifax for the bulk of our cases. Leeds & Holbeck is also receptive. These lenders are happy to take loans on once they are provided with full details of the relevant scheme.