Nationwide and Abbey tighten mortgage criteria

28-04-2008

Nationwide and Abbey tighten mortgage criteria
Both Nationwide and Abbey are reducing the maximum loan-to-value on the majority of their products, further tightening mortgage criteria.

From Thursday May 1st Nationwide will cut the maximum loan-to-value (LTV) on the majority of its products from 95 to 90 per cent.

Only existing customers and those taking out a three-year, fixed-rate mortgage will be able to access a higher LTV.

Nationwide will also reduce the maximum amount it is willing to offer on a loan to new customers to £500,000.

The moves are likely to hit first-time buyers, who lack the funds to make a purchase at a lower LTV, as well as remortgagers with little equity in their property.

In response Nationwide is offering some small olive branches.

First-time buyers who deal directly with the organisation and choose a three-year tracker or fixed deal will receive a £300 discount on the reservation fee and a £100 discount on legal fees.

"These changes will allow us to maintain control of the volume of business the Society is attracting, while enabling us to continue offering our full range of mortgages to our existing members in a controlled and prudent way," explained Matthew Carter, Nationwide's divisional director for mortgages.

However, over the course of a loan, these fees are unlikely to make a significant impact on the cost of a product.

Similarly Abbey is cutting its maximum LTV and now only has one product for borrowers with a five per cent deposit, a five-year fixed-rate deal at 6.99 per cent interest.

This is the 11th time Abbey has reorganised its mortgage offering in 2008 to date.

All lenders have been forced into reassessing their mortgage products as wholesale funding becomes increasingly scarce following the credit crunch.

"First-time buyers and people renegotiating their mortgage for the first time will be worst affected," said Sean Gardner of price comparison site MoneyExpert.com

"When disposable income is already at breaking point for many, it is frankly impossible to see how those with limited savings will find a way to get a foothold on the property ladder."

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