Yorkshire Building Society is urging first time buyers not to be deterred from purchasing a property because the stamp duty holiday has ended.
Commenting after the withdrawal of the tax break, Chris Smith, Yorkshire’s Group Direct Mortgage Manager, said this and other short term measures to stimulate the housing market, such as the NewBuy scheme, did not necessarily address the difficulties facing many first time buyers.
“The society has a good understanding of the pressures facing first time buyers and we have looked at ways to ease the process and reduce upfront costs, with packages including free or reduced fees and help with legal and surveyors’ costs,” said Chris.
“The breadth of choice of our mortgage products means we have solutions to meet first time buyers’ needs, as well as competitive savings products they can use to build up their deposit.
“Across our mortgage range we have more best buys than any other lender, including at higher loan to value rates up to 90%, and products such as Offset Plus give relatives a way to assist first time buyers while retaining control over their savings.”
Chris said the Yorkshire had seen a rise in first time buyer completions in recent weeks as purchasers rushed to beat the stamp duty deadline but said the society would continue to review its mortgage range and innovate in its efforts to help more first time buyers.
“First time buyers are important to us – the proportion of our loans to first time buyers is 7% higher than the market average and in 2011 we increased our lending to first time buyers by around 40%,” he said.
“While mortgages are our business we never lose sight of the reason why borrowers take out their loan – to buy a home, which is not only a major financial commitment but also a significant event in anyone’s life.
“Our mutual values mean we understand the long-term commitment of stepping on to the property ladder and hope our reputation as a competitive yet responsible lender means borrowers want to make that commitment with us.”