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Michelle Monck

Michelle Monck

Consumer Finance Expert
Published: 24/09/2020

Those buying their first home in some parts of the midlands and the north of England will find more mortgage choice available than their peers in the south. Research from reveals there is now a postcode lottery for the number of mortgage deals available to first-time buyers at 90% loan-to-value (LTV) with those in the north west, midlands and Yorkshire potentially having more than twice the choice of those in the south.

There are now four lenders with 15 mortgages available for first-time buyers in England and Wales at 90% LTV that are available directly from the lender. This includes home purchase plans available from Al Rayan Bank. Those living in areas served by Cumberland Building Society, Darlington Building Society, Furness Building Society and Stafford Railway Building Society can also choose from an additional 17 mortgages available, totalling 32 available to those buying in these regions. So, more than double what is available nationwide to those in the south.

Buckinghamshire Building Society has just launched two 90% LTV first-time buyer mortgage available to those buying in Buckinghamshire only – in addition those that are existing customers or related to an existing customer of the building society (such as children, parents, grandparents and grandchildren) can benefit from a reduced interest rate.

Even with this new launch those living in the south of England will need more regional lenders to come forward to make the availability of 90% first-time buyer mortgages more equal between those buying in the north compared to the south.

90% LTV first-time buyer mortgages available in England and Wales


Geographical areas available

Nationwide Building Society

Great Britain, Northern Ireland (excludes Scilly Isles)

Virgin Money

Great Britain, Northern Ireland

Teachers Building Society

England, Wales

Al Rayan Bank (home purchase plans only)

England, Wales

The Scottish Building Society also has availability at 90% LTV but for Scotland only.

Source: Sept 2020

90% LTV first-time buyer mortgages available in restricted regions of England and Wales only


Geographical areas available

Buckinghamshire Building Society


Cumberland Building Society

NE45, West Northumberland, North Lancashire, Cumbria

Darlington Building Society

All DL, TS, DH, YO, HG, SR postcodes

Furness Building Society

All LA postcodes

Stafford Railway Building Society

ST14,15,16,17,18,19,20,21, WS7,11,12,13,15 post code areas

Source: Sept 2020

First-time buyer mortgage postcode lottery map

There are five lenders that offer 90% LTV first-time buyer mortgages to restricted locations in England and Wales only. The map shows the areas covered. 

Source: data September 2020

Note: Cumberland Building Society lending does include Dumfriesshire in Scotland.


What are the mortgage options for first time buyers?

Save for a larger deposit

First time buyers can either look to increase their deposit to qualify for an 80% or 85% LTV and as a result access an increased choice of products or consider a guarantor mortgage. A Lifetime ISA comes with a Government bonus to help boost your house deposit savings.

Read more in our guide to saving for a house deposit

Take out a Help to Buy loan

Those wanting to buy a new build property can apply for a Help to Buy loan from the Government. Help to Buy loans are available to all home buyers if they buy a new build property and not just first-time buyers. The loan is for up to 20% of the house price outside of London and up to 40% in London. The buyer needs to save a 5% deposit. The loan is repaid either when the property is sold or after 25 years.

Read more about Help to Buy loans.

Speak to a mortgage broker

A mortgage broker can help to identify any exclusive deals not available to members of the public. They also know the lending criteria of different providers and can help to match your circumstances to a lender most likely to accept you.

Speak to a broker


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