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Major mortgage lender calls for first-time buyer market review

Nationwide has called for an independent review of the first-time buyer market as it urges the Chancellor to boost support for the property market in this week’s Autumn Statement.

The building society said that while raising a deposit and affordability remain the biggest barriers to homeownership for first-time buyers, a wider review is needed to set out and address the significant challenges facing the sector.

These include the gap between income growth and house price growth, inadequate supply, the need for planning reforms and the impact of regulations on mortgage lending, Nationwide said.

It suggests a review would help the Government produce a sustainable plan to support people hoping to buy a home of their own.

Other suggestions include reintroducing the Help to Buy ISA and increasing the amount that can be saved per month from £200 to £500. It would also like to see a proportionate increase in the redeemable bonus in line with house prices. To date, Nationwide has opened over 542,000 Help to Buy ISAs.

Rachael Sinclair, director of mortgages and financial wellbeing for Nationwide, said: ‘‘Homeownership for many first-time buyers is a huge challenge. Reintroducing the Help to Buy ISA would make a big difference to building a deposit, while a review of the first-time buyer market would help determine the right solutions for helping people get a home of their own.”

  • Stephen Hayter

    A “whole market” review seems very sensible, but to suggest in (virtually) the same sentence boosting support isn’t very helpful as it is often such “boosts” that distort the market.

    Ultimately it will be cross party consensus, and a strategic intent, that will make a difference.


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