UK Building Society Ups Home Buyer Incentives
It may not be close to a $8,000 tax credit, but Nationwide Building Society will begin a series of initiatives to reduce the cost of buying a mortgage in the UK. The UK government is engaged in myriad stimulus packages, but a first-time home buyer incentive is not one of them. Effective tomorrow, Nationwide will up the discount currently offered on its mortgage reservation fee for first-time home buyers from £250 ($406) to £500, or customers can choose to pay the former £250 reservation fee discount and get free legal fees instead. The offer applies to three-, four-, and five-year fixed-rate mortgages. The building society is also offering a reservation and legal fee free option to borrowers looking to move to a different home and additional fee and rate discounts to existing customers. “The combination of rate cuts of up to 0.84%, and fee offers we are announcing today should really help first-time buyers and seasoned homeowners,” said Nationwide mortgage director Andy McQueen. “We are reducing the amount that they need to pay upfront and so hope we've removed a barrier which may have prevented people from buying a home.” UK building societies are similar to the savings and loan financial institutions of the US in the mid-20th century, in that they are member-owned and focus on mortgage lending. Swindon, England-based Nationwide is the world’s largest building society and one of the largest mortgage lenders in the UK. Write to Austin Kilgore.