Skipton Building Society is increasing its maximum loan size for first-time buyers from £300,000 to £500,000 to accommodate borrowers in areas with high house prices, such as London and the South-east.
The change will take effect on 17 June. The lender’s maximum loan size for all other borrowers is £1m, or £500,000 for 90 per cent loan-to-value mortgages.
Skipton lends to a maximum of 90 per cent LTV at present. Until March 2012, it lent to 95 per cent LTV but pulled out due to unexpected demand for the products. A spokeswoman says there are no immediate plans to reintroduce 95 per cent LTV products but the matter is constantly under review.
The lender has also introduced a £40,000 minimum income requirement for interest-only and part interest-only mortgage applications.
Skipton senior products manager for mortgages William Gill says: “Many first-time buyers are typically older, have families and have rented for a long period of time while saving their deposit and we want to help these people get on to the property ladder.”
London & Country associate director of communications David Hollingworth says: “This shows a general shift in lender attitude and a gentle widening-out of the risk profile.”