Scheme gives helping hand to new buyers
A COUNTY scheme to help first-time buyers get on the property ladder is offering fresh hope for those searching for their first home.
Earlier this year, Lloyds TSB and Gloucestershire County Council joined forces to help first timers purchase a home with a deposit of just five per cent through the Local Lend a Hand product.
Often raising a deposit is the biggest challenge facing new home buyers.
Yesterday it was announced that so far there have been 17 applications under the mortgage scheme, of which ten have been offered.
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The local Lend a Hand product is part of Grow Gloucestershire – the campaign launched by Gloucestershire County Council to help stimulate the economy. It is supported by The Citizen and Gloucestershire Echo.
The other aims include providing young people with the right skills to get themselves on the career ladder and improving communications-especially through superfast broadband which is essential for businesses as well as families.
Responding to calls for further innovation in the first time buyer market, Lloyds TSB worked with Sector Treasury Services, part of the Capita Group, to develop the Local Lend a Hand product.
The scheme enables borrowers to buy their first home with a deposit less than the 10 per cent required by most mortgage lenders.
And the fixed rate mortgage products that will be available during this scheme will also be at a lower rate of interest than would normally be available for this level of deposit.
Leader of Gloucestershire County Council, Cllr Mark Hawthorne said: "We're really pleased with the response to the mortgage scheme.
We put £1million into this scheme to help get the local housing market moving and most importantly keep talent in Gloucestershire.
"It is doing just that."
Stephen Noakes, Lloyds TSB mortgage director, was heartened by the initial reaction to the scheme.
"The aim of Local Lend a Hand is to make the housing market more accessible to first time buyers in Gloucestershire, and it's great to see there has been so much interest so quickly," he said. "It shows that Local Lend a Hand really is providing a solution for people that might otherwise be put off by the size of deposit they'd need."
Subject to Lloyds TSB's usual lending criteria, borrowers are able to select any property within Gloucestershire up to a maximum loan size of £152,000.
First-time buyers will put down five per cent of the property price and Gloucestershire County Council will provide a cash backed indemnity of up to 20 per cent as additional security.
The local authority then earns interest on this amount.
The scheme is available throughout Gloucestershire, but buyers in Stroud District will be supported by Stroud District Council, which is running the scheme locally.
Gloucestershire County Council has added £200,000 to Stroud's scheme.
Those interested in the local scheme should visit their local branch of Lloyds TSB for more information.