Affordable housing isn’t a pipedream, it’s real

Matt Long

May 16, 2018

Matthew Long is senior business development manager at Newbury Building Society

Affordable housing isn’t just for first-time buyers. Many of our customers will go through a change in personal circumstance.

Whether that is in the shape of a divorce, change in employment or relocation, lenders need to be flexible to meet the fluctuating demands of today’s modern mortgage market.

We have seen a surge in applications solely related to affordable housing and government schemes.

The great news is that along with this there are a variety of different ways in which house-hunters of all ages and stages in life are able to obtain a mortgage in an affordable way. For example:

· Government schemes such as shared ownership and Help to Buy Equity Loan

· Family help through joint borrower – sole proprietor

· Gifted deposit from the Bank of Mum and Dad (now Granny and Grandad, and even Sister and Brother)

· Split mortgage by term, by product and by repayment type

Do it yourself shared ownership (DIYSO) with a registered provider on any property available on the open market

You just need a lender who is willing to put in the extra elbow grease to ensure those needing something a little bit special are catered for by taking the time to find the right option for each customer.

That’s where we and other building societies of the like come in. As a collective industry, we’ve helped parents boost their loved ones borrowing power, divorcees starting afresh, those whose employment situation has changed or those who are relocating to an area with much higher housing prices. These customers had the same goal – to obtain an affordable mortgage.

The building society world is always supportive of new initiatives to help people step onto the property ladder.

Abolishing stamp duty has already reduced a fraction of the financial expense of those looking at affordable housing while awareness of the golden opportunities shared ownership can bring is now being celebrated more than ever before.

But, there is still a long way to go. The industry needs to continue to work together to future-proof affordable initiatives and educate the mainstream that schemes offer a viable option for homeownership.

It’s all about making the impossible, possible.

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