Staffordshire Building Society has relaxed its lending criteria, allowing increased lending multiples and maximum loan terms.
The society will now offer income multiples up to 3.5 times (previously 3.25) the main income plus a second income, or 2.75 (previously 2.5) times joint incomes. A maximum term of 40 years has also been introduced and the society will lend up to 95% loan-to-value on properties worth up to £175,000.
Richard Dickson, spokesman for Staffordshire BS, said the changes came in reaction to a change in market conditions and feedback from customers and brokers. He said the 46% increase in average house prices over the last four years had made it difficult for first-time buyers to purchase property. However, he denied the move would lead to any affordability problems for borrowers. He said: ‘I think rates would have to go up significantly, by which I mean over 8%, and remain there for some time before borrowers had problems with their repayments.’
Bill Snaith, chief executive of Staffordshire BS, added: ‘These new measures will help make it easier for customers to get through the mortgage application process as quickly as possible.’