Halifax launches ‘Head Start Home Saver’ for first time buyers

The Halifax report revealed savings behaviours of those looking to move onto the property ladder:

• Only a third (32%) of non homeowners have a realistic plan to buy a house within the next five years
• 14% say they are saving every penny for a deposit and making sacrifices to their lifestyle to do this
• A further 14% are trying to save for a deposit but spend spare cash on having a good time

The Halifax Head Start Home Saver initiative has been designed to give borrowers a boost when they move into their new home. When a potential first time buyer builds the balance of their Halifax savings accounts for 10 out of 12 calendar months of the year immediately before taking out a Halifax Home Saver mortgage from the dedicated first time buyer range, they will receive a £600 payment into the account from which they pay their mortgage.

For choice and simplicity, customers can save in any Halifax savings account1 to qualify for the reward and they can choose from a number of mortgages from the dedicated range of first time buyer mortgages.

Simon Kenyon, Halifax Savings Director, commented: “We know from our own research that for some customers to get on to the ladder, their savings behaviours need to change. With Head Start Home Saver, we are rewarding customers who save for their deposit with Halifax. The offer is available for customers who have already been saving for a deposit as well as providing an incentive for those customers who want to get on the ladder but have yet to develop that savings behavior. There are numerous costs in that first month of homeownership, whether it is setting up an internet connection, buying new furniture, or paying council tax, so a helping hand in that first month of homeownership is a clear benefit. Many customers, of course, will use the reward to pay their first monthly mortgage installment2”.

If customers are saving for a deposit elsewhere, they can transfer to a Halifax savings account, build their balance as required, and then receive the reward if they take out a Head Start Home Saver mortgage from the dedicated first time buyer range of products at the end of that period.

As an example, a customer might transfer £12,000 of their savings into a Halifax Web Saver Reward account paying 2.80%. Under Head Start Home Saver, they might set up a plan paying £250 a month into the account for 24 months, at the end of which they will have generated £18,682 for a deposit (including interest). If the customer then uses that sum for a dedicated Halifax first time buyer mortgage, they will also receive the £600 reward.

Head Start Home Saver also rewards those customers who have already demonstrated good savings behavior. If an existing customer has already been building their savings account by the minimum amount in ten out of the last twelve calendar months before the launch date of August 1st, they will already have qualified to apply for one of the dedicated first time buyer mortgages and receive the reward. As long as the customer builds their savings account in ten of twelve calendar months immediately prior to obtaining a mortgage, they will qualify for the £600 cashback.

The Halifax research also revealed the most common financial sacrifices that homeowners made to save enough to get on the ladder. A third said they had cut down or stopped going out (34%), and a quarter said they went on fewer or cheaper holidays (25%), or spent less on clothes, toiletries or personal grooming (24%).

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