Despite cost-of-living challenges, the desire to get onto the property ladder remains the dream for many. In partnership with fintech company Life Moments, Leeds Building Society has become the first lender to launch an online tool that provides impartial guidance on the various available paths to homeownership open to prospective first-time buyers.
The new First Home Helper tool goes live on the Leeds Building Society website today (11th July), with the aim of helping aspirational homeowners to navigate their home buying options. It does this by running through a series of questions that gives them useful hints and tips around their current financial situation, helps them to understand how much they may be able to borrow and how much they should put away each month, and provides informative highlights about different mortgages and schemes that are available in the wider market.
The options available to suit different circumstances could include standard or low deposit mortgages, Rent to Own schemes, family guarantor mortgages, Joint Borrower Sole Proprietor mortgages, and Shared Ownership.
The tool will deliver suggestions for routes to homeownership for aspirational first-time buyers who are unclear on the options available to them, and how long it might take them to get onto the property ladder.
Leeds Building Society conducted research last year, showing how confusing first-time buyers find the home buying process, with more than a third (36%) of people never having heard of Shared Ownership before – a route that could genuinely help put homeownership within reach of more people.
Shared Ownership is a great solution to help aspirational homeowners to get a foothold on the property ladder as buyers need a smaller deposit, allowing them to buy sooner than they might otherwise. The Society has seen a 19% increase in applications for Shared Ownership mortgages (Jan-May 23 vs. Jan-May 22) in response to the challenging housing market and cost of living crisis.
Vanessa Roberts, Head of Strategy and Responsible Business said, “There has never been a more challenging time to get on the housing ladder, and for many the home buying process can feel confusing and overwhelming.
“Leeds Building Society’s new First Home Helper online tool will allow those aspiring to get onto the property ladder to explore the different routes to homeownership and offer tips that might help them get onto the property ladder sooner.
“Helping aspirational homeowners to get a foothold on the ladder is at the heart of our purpose. Creating this new tool in partnership with Life Moments allows us to support first-time buyers as they navigate the options available to them and give them the confidence to take the first steps towards buying their own home.”