BASINGSTOKE and Deane Borough Council have teamed up with Lloyds TSB to help first-time buyers get onto the property ladder.

The council has set aside £1m which should help 30 to 40 buyers through the Local Lend a Hand scheme, offering a five per cent mortgage deposit.

Representatives from the council and mortgage experts from Lloyds TSB attended the launch of the scheme at the local branch in Basingstoke’s Festival Place.

The scheme enables borrowers to buy their first home with a deposit less than that required by most mortgage lenders. The fixed rate mortgage products that will be available during this scheme will also be at a lower rate of interest than would normally be available for this level of deposit.

Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council’s Cabinet member for housing and regeneration, Cllr Rob Golding said: “We have already had a lot of interest in the scheme from residents in our area which shows the high level of local demand for help to get on the property ladder.

This scheme reduces the deposit for first-time buyers by several thousand pounds.

House prices in our borough are rising as it is an attractive place to live, and this is a way that we can use the council’s resources to help young people put down roots in the area where they grew up.”

Stephen Noakes, mortgages director at Lloyds TSB said: “With the launch of Local Lend a Hand in Basingstoke, we’re making the housing market more accessible to more people.

“Helping people to buy their first home is crucial in achieving and maintaining a sustainable housing market. Local Lend a Hand addresses some of the real problems that prospective buyers in Basingstoke might face.”

Subject to Lloyds TSB’s usual lending criteria, borrowers are able to select any existing property in the area covered by Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council up to a maximum loan of £238,000.

First-time buyers will put down a minimum five per cent of the property price, and Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council will provide a cash backed indemnity of up to 20 per cent as additional security.