The loans will be distributed by Even, a subsidiary of digital estate agency Nested, with plans to offer loans by the end of the year and focus on the pre-owned market. This represents around 85 per cent of first-time purchases according to Nested.
Even will lend a lump sum in the form of an equity loan, which can be used to increase the size of a deposit or increase a buyer’s purchasing budget. It aims to solve deposit and loan-to-income constraints, which it says are the biggest barriers for first-time buyers.
When the property is sold, Even shares the increase or decrease in property value when the customer repays the loan. The repayment is based on the size of the initial contribution by both parties, therefore if Even takes a 25 per cent stake in the initial deposit, it will take 25 per cent of the future profit.
The company says it can lend up to twice a customer’s deposit up to £100,000, and it expects the average amount it will invest will be £20,000.
It has a £195 application fee and once the property is purchased it charges five per cent of the loan amount, which can be added to Even’s investment rather than paid upfront.
The loan is interest free for the whole term and a profit cap of two times is applied if the loan is paid back in 10 years and three times profit cap applies thereafter.
There are no early repayment charges, and the homeowners keep profit from structural works undertaken. Loan terms of up to 40 years are available.
The loan is similar to Help-to-Buy, but it does not help with new builds, it is interest free and the share of the profit is based on its contribution in comparison to the borrower, not the contribution to the purchase price.
Turford said: “We spent two years researching the pain points for those struggling to get on the property ladder. What came out loud and clear were two things: People are tired of being stuck in the rent trap, paying off their landlord’s mortgage while being unable to save because of constantly rising rents. And they want a fair alternative to the state-run Help-to-Buy scheme and which is being phased out in any case.
“Even wants to get people onto the property ladder, but most of all, do it fairly. That’s why, as well as sharing the profit when the property is sold and charging no ongoing interest, we will also share the loss if the property has gone down in value when you sell. In addition, we have a profit cap on our share, so the owner stands to benefit significantly more than us from big rises in value.”
Even has raised £45m in funding to date, and said it plans to use the fund to make Even a “viable alternative” to Help-to-Buy for those who want non-new builds.