Help to Buy mortgage scheme will improve NI economy

By Christine Farrell

The Housing Minister Nelson McCausland says the Help to Buy mortgage scheme will provide a "boost" to the Northern Ireland economy, though only one local bank has currently confirmed that it will be offering the 95 per cent government guaranteed mortgage products.

RBS and NatWest were the first lenders to reveal the details of the mortgages they would offer as part of the Help to Buy scheme, and so it is no surprise that the RBS owned Ulster Bank was quick to announce that it would be providing the mortgages to borrowers in Northern Ireland. The other major lenders have said they are still considering the details of the scheme before deciding whether they will participate.

The Help to Buy scheme allows lenders to pay a fee to the government in return for a guarantee on 95 per cent mortgages, with the cost to the bank being up to 0.9 per cent of the original mortgage amount, which in return gives them a 7 year guarantee on 15 per cent of the loan amount. The idea is to reduce the risk to the Lender and overcome the deposit obstacle that has been keeping so many first time buyers from getting on the property market.

While there are some 95 per cent mortgages already available, the majority of property purchasers in Northern Ireland have been required to put up around 20 per cent of the house price themselves. The result is that even a property on the lower end of the price scale will require a deposit of around £20,000, which is understandably out of the reach of most first time buyers.

If you are purchasing, selling or remortgaging a property in Northern Ireland and require a conveyancing solicitor to handle the legal process for you contact Wilson Nesbitt in Belfast by calling 0800 840 9290.