Best first-time buyer mortgages available right now: April 2022

According to Moneyfacts, there are almost 3,000 first-time buyer mortgages available right now. Each comes with its own combination of interest rate and fees, and unique rules about who can apply and how much they can borrow. So it’s worth shopping around before choosing your first mortgage.

Although the Bank of England base rate has gone up a couple of times lately, interest rates are still relatively low. But it’s not just the mortgage rate that you should focus on – there are other important factors too.

With inflation at a 30-year high, household budgets are under pressure so you might prefer the stability of a long-term fixed-rate or a low-deposit mortgage that requires less savings.

Jonathan Harris, managing director of mortgage broker Forensic Property Finance, says: “Buying your first home is an exciting prospect but trying to choose the best mortgage for your circumstances can be a minefield. There is so much choice in terms of lenders, products, mortgage terms, rates – it can be hard to know which to go for if you have no experience doing this before.

‘The best thing you can do is to consult a whole-of-market mortgage broker. They will guide you through the process from start to finish, selecting the right mortgage for your circumstances.’

Best first-time buyer mortgages April 2022

Ulster Bank – Northern Ireland only

Rate – 1.8%

Type – fixed rate

Duration – two years

Minimum deposit – 10%

Mortgage fee – £995

Ulster Bank offers a free valuation. If you want to repay the loan early penalties will apply until 30/6/2024.

Barclays – purchase only cashback

Rate – 2.85%

Type – fixed rate

Duration – two years

Minimum deposit – 10%

Mortgage fee – £0

With a 10% deposit, first-time buyers can lock into a low fixed rate for two years and get £500 cashback. Penalties apply if you repay before 31/05/2024.

First Direct – 5 Year Fixed Repayment Fee Saver

Rate – 2.74%

Type – fixed rate

Duration – five years

Minimum deposit – 10%

Mortgage fee – £0

First Direct offers 2 and 5-year fixed mortgages with no upfront fees. Borrowers can borrow up to £550,000, dependent on their circumstances.

HSBC – sub 1.5% for deposit-rich buyers

Rate – 1.49%

Type – tracker mortgage

Duration – two years

Minimum deposit – 40%

Mortgage fee £999

No early repayment charges or exit fees apply. The mortgage rate is 0.74% more than the Bank of England base rate, currently 0.75% – so you pay 1.49%. If the base rate rises, so does your mortgage rate.

Metro Bank – joint borrower, sole proprietor

Rate – 3.49%

Type – fixed rate

Duration – two years

Minimum deposit – 5%

Mortgage fee – £999
Add immediate family members to your application to boost your borrowing power. Everyone named on the mortgage is liable for the debt, but the extra applicants are not named as owners of the property. Self-employed applicants welcome.

Barclays – Family Springboard

Rate – 3.7%

Type – fixed

Duration – five years

Minimum deposit – 0%

Mortgage fee – £0

Family Springboard is a guarantor mortgage. Family or friends must deposit the equivalent of 10% of the purchase price of your property into a Barclays savings account which is locked away for five years. If you keep up to date with your payments for five years, your helpers get their savings back with interest. A 35-year mortgage term is available. Early repayment charges apply.

How to find the best first-time buyer mortgage rates

You can search online for the best first-time buyer mortgage rates using a price comparison website. By submitting basic details such as your annual salary, credit commitments and the value of your deposit you’ll find out how much you can spend on a house and which lenders are offering the cheapest deals.

You can also use an online mortgage broker. After completing an online questionnaire and a credit check you’ll be sent a list of mortgage deals with the cheapest rates tailored to your circumstances.

Or you can ask a traditional mortgage broker to search for the best deals on your behalf. After a phone call or face-to-face interview, they will select the best deals for your circumstances rather than just the lowest rates.

What kind of first-time buyer mortgage could I get?

Some banks and building societies offer first-time buyers or professionals a mortgage that is 5.5 times their annual salary to boost their buying power. Some lenders offer even more.

Lenders also offer a range of low or no deposit deals, fee-free options, cashback incentives and mortgage terms of up to 40 years if you want to keep your monthly repayments low.

‘It might be tempting to stick with the bank you have your current account with as you already have a relationship so may assume you will get better terms, but this is not the case. You may be lucky – your bank may just happen to offer the most competitive mortgage suitable for your circumstances, but chances are it won’t,” explains Jonathan, “A broker will compare deals, saving you time and effort, and giving you peace of mind so you can rest assured you will end up with a competitive mortgage.’

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