Nationwide brings back its 90 per cent mortgages… could the low-deposit mortgage freeze be coming to an end?

Things are looking up for first-time buyers
  • We earn a commission for products purchased through some links in this article.
  • The last two weeks have been filled with good news for first-time buyers. First, the stamp duty cut, now Nationwide has revealed that it will be offering 90 per cent mortgages again.

    Related: House prices are starting to drop for the first time in eight years – and Nationwide predicts what will happen next

    Nationwide announced that from July 20th it will be offering 90 per cent loan-to-value mortgages for first-time buyers.

    Nationwide 90 per cent mortgages

    The UK’s second-largest mortgage lender was among the many lenders who withdrew their 10 per cent deposit deals in the wake of the pandemic. The economic uncertainty saw 704 deals for first-time buyers pulled from the market, leaving just 75 available.

    Nationwide 90 per cent mortgage 1

    Image credit: Nationwide

    By the end of June HSBC was left as the only high-street bank offering 90 per cent loans. However, the number of mortgages available each day was restricted.

    It is hoped that Nationwide’s news could be the start of a thaw in the mortgage freeze. Supported by the Chancellor’s stamp duty holiday announcement last week.

    Nationwide referred to the stamp duty cut as their reason for increasing the lending limit. In a statement, the building society explained that they hope it will  speed up the housing market’s recovery.

    Nationwide 90 per cent mortgage 3

    Image credit: David Giles

    The lender has said that it will not be setting limits on the number of mortgages available. However, they have stated that ‘enhanced criteria’ will apply for first-time buyers. It is not yet clear what this will entail.

    ‘While we will continue to monitor the market carefully, we feel it is the right time to enhance our lending, initially to those looking for their first home,’ says Henry Jordan, Director of Mortgages at Nationwide Building Society.

    ‘We welcome the government’s announcement on stamp duty and hope our combined changes create a positive impact on a market that, despite being in relatively good health, is still recovering.’

    Nationwide 90 per cent mortgages 2

    Image credit: Simon Whitmore

    ‘There’s been record demand for property on Rightmove since the market reopened,’ adds Miles Shipside, Commercial Director and Housing Market Analyst at Rightmove. ‘This has been boosted even further by the stamp duty announcement. All of which should help activity levels over the coming months.’

    Related: HSBC has the best low-deposit mortgage deals on the high street…but you’ll need an alarm clock to snag one

    Could things be looking up for the housing market?

    All the latest from Ideal Home