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

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.

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 mutual insurance company

(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.

cent mortgage with glass door and wooden table

(Image credit: Future PLC/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.'

low deposit mortage with drawer and tiles flooring

(Image credit: Future PLC/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?

Rebecca Knight
Deputy Editor, Digital

Rebecca Knight has been the Deputy Editor on the Ideal Home Website since 2022. She graduated with a Masters degree in magazine journalism from City, University of London in 2018, before starting her journalism career as a staff writer on women's weekly magazines. She fell into the world of homes and interiors after joining the Ideal Home website team in 2019 as a Digital Writer. In 2020 she moved into position of Homes News Editor working across Homes & Gardens, LivingEtc, Real Homes, Gardeningetc and Ideal Home covering everything from the latest viral cleaning hack to the next big interior trend.