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Cooper urges lenders to join Homebuy plan

Housing minister Yvette Cooper has urged more lenders to join the Openmarket Homebuy scheme to help to reduce rates.

The scheme to help key workers and first-time buyers launched this week but without one of the expected quartet of lenders. Advantage, Nationwide and Yorkshire Building Society are all on board but Bank of Scotland says it will not be ready to launch until later this year. The rates available range from 5.59 per cent to 6.59 per cent.

Cooper confirms that the Government is talking to other lenders about joining the scheme.

The scheme works as a 75 per cent mortgage, with the lender and Government funding the remaining 25 per cent, although interest is payable on the lender’s share after five years.

Cooper says: “The more lenders involved, the greater the competition in terms of rates.” Chase de Vere Mortgage Management director Nick Gardner says: “There are quite a lot of restrictions on this scheme and it is far from a cure to the problems faced by key workers but it will help some people, and the Government’s other shared-equity scheme may help more still.”

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