A leading housebuilder has hailed the Government-backed NewBuy mortgage product as a huge boost for the industry as one of its customers became the first person in the country to buy a home using the package.
Bovis Homes are confident that the Cambridgeshire buyer's purchase of a two-bedroom apartment with lender Nationwide will be the first of many using the new 95% mortgage.
Chief Executive David Ritchie said: "We are delighted that NewBuy has helped this customer into their brand new Bovis Home and we wish them all the best with their new life in a new property.
"We promised to hit the ground running with NewBuy and we've done just that by becoming the first housebuilder in England and Wales to have a customer complete their purchase using the mortgage.
"At Bovis Homes we have been proactive in helping to develop low-deposit homebuying solutions with lenders and we were delighted to be able to contribute as NewBuy was developed.
"I am sure that this completion will be the first of many as homebuyers across the country take advantage of the mortgage, which promises to open up the market for thousands of people.
"Higher deposits have undoubtedly hindered the market and this new 5% deposit requirement promises to give the market a major boost - especially as it is available to existing homeowners and first-time buyers alike.
"It's great news for us, but more importantly it's great news for homebuyers who now have the chance to realise their aspirations of getting on or moving up the property ladder."
Housing Minister Grant Shapps said: "I am delighted that the NewBuy Guarantee has helped someone onto the housing ladder only a matter of weeks after its launch. I wish them all the very best in their new home.
"With four lenders and nine builders now offering the scheme, thousands of people are set to see their dreams of home ownership become a reality with just a fraction of the deposit that they would otherwise need.
"And with more lenders and builders set to sign up in the coming weeks, the NewBuy Guarantee will also provide a boost to housebuilding, and the wider economy, across the country."
NewBuy has been designed by the Home Builders Federation and the Council of Mortgage Lenders; with support from the Government, who have teamed up with individual housebuilders to provide a guarantee for each mortgage.
Stewart Baseley, Executive Chairman of the Home Builders Federation, said: "It is fantastic news that NewBuy is up and running. This is another milestone as the scheme develops and over the coming months and years NewBuy will deliver many thousands of sales. It will help customers meet their ambition of home ownership and provide house building businesses large and small, and the economy as a whole, with a much needed boost."
Bovis Homes Chief Executive, David RitchieAndrew Baddeley-Chappell, Nationwide's Head of Mortgage Strategy and Policy, added: "We are delighted that, together with Bovis Homes, we have been able to help the first of what we hope will be many customers to purchase a new Bovis Home through the NewBuy scheme - just one month after the scheme was launched. The scheme is already making a difference - allowing customers of new-build properties access to lower deposit mortgages than would otherwise be the case."
NewBuy provides a homebuying solution which requires just a 5% deposit and is available to UK citizens buying new-build properties priced up to £500,000 as their main home in England. It is being backed by four major high street lenders - Nationwide, Barclays (Woolwich), RBS (NatWest) and Halifax, with more expected to come on board in due course.