Barclays agrees to offer Help to Buy mortages

Another major mortgage lender is to join the Government’s flagship Help to Buy scheme, meaning it is now backed by two-thirds of the market.

Barclays confirmed that it plans to lend state-backed mortgages under the new phase of Help to Buy, which was fired into action this week after the Government brought the launch date forward from January. But the bank, which accounted for around 13 per cent of mortgage lending last year, has not given any detail of what products are on offer and when they will be available.

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The Government is offering £12bn worth of guarantees under Help to Buy to encourage lenders to offer mortgages to home buyers with deposits as low as five per cent.

So far, just a handful of lenders have launched products, with state-backed Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS), NatWest, Halifax and Bank of Scotland taking applications from this week.

Of the biggest mortgage lenders, only Nationwide, which had a mortgage lending share of around 15 per cent last year, is still to decide whether or not it plans to take part.

Those other lenders who have confirmed their participation – Santander, HSBC, Lloyds Bank, Virgin Money and Aldermore – are expected to give more details about the deals they plan to offer nearer to their launch dates.

Some more products are expected to appear on the market later this year, followed by another wave of new deals in about January – the time the scheme was originally due to start.