Deposit Unlock mortgages launched nationally

22 Nov, 2021

Deposit Unlock mortgages launched nationally

Industry led scheme for new build buyers provides 5% deposit option

Deposit Unlock, the house building industry led mortgage scheme that allows new build buyers to purchase with a 5% deposit, today launches nationally with 17 major builders after a successful regional pilot.

Nationwide is the latest major lender signed up to Deposit Unlock and will offer the product on newbuild properties for both first-time buyers and second steppers up to £750,000. Newcastle Building Society, which was the first lender to offer Deposit Unlock nationally following a successful trial in the north-east, has recently seen the first completions under the scheme. More lenders are expected to join in the new year.

With house prices rising, Deposit Unlock will help open up the newbuild market to more borrowers who do not have access to large deposits or the Bank of Mum and Dad, and help soften the blow of the withdrawal of the Help to Buy Equity Loan scheme, that has been so important for home buyers and housing supply over recent years. Help to Buy has already assisted more than a third of a million households to purchase a new build home since its launch in 2013 and been a major contributor to a doubling of housing supply over the past eight years and 70,000 equity loans have been fully paid back by homeowners, generating a 10% return for the Exchequer – some £315m.

The mortgage indemnity scheme has been developed by the Home Builders Federation and 17 of its largest members, alongside Homes for Scotland and Deposit Unlock’s scheme manager Gallagher Re. It will be available on developments across England, Scotland and Wales and is open to all HBF and HfS members. More builders will be added in the coming weeks.

Upon completion of home purchases offered as part of the scheme the developer funds a mortgage indemnity and deposits cash to cover any potential losses. The scheme greatly reduces risk for the lender, protecting them from a proportion of the potential loss in the event of any default.

Stewart Baseley, executive chairman of HBF said; “Ensuring people can buy a new build home is key to the industry’s ability to deliver the Government’s housing ambitions. Too many people are unable to realise their ambition of home ownership because they simply can’t afford the deposit required. The industry has worked hard to develop a sustainable solution that will help more prospective buyers onto the housing ladder, maintain demand and so enable builders deliver more desperately needed homes. Help to Buy has played a significant role in supporting increases in housing supply in recent years and has turned home ownership dreams into reality for hundreds of thousands of households. However, with the new Help to Buy scheme now less accessible in some regional markets including many parts of northern England, and with the programme closing in 2023 a new option was required. This launch is testament to the foresight and investment made by 17 of our members. We are also grateful for the commitment shown by our two launch lender partners and look forward to welcoming others in the coming months.”

Stuart Miller, chief customer officer at Newcastle Building Society, said: “Deposit Unlock is a true innovation and great example of collaboration across the industry to help more people achieve the dream of home ownership. That ambition is now paying dividends as we’re seeing the first completions and I take a real sense of pride in the fact that families are now living in homes purchased through Deposit Unlock. Helping more people get on and up the property ladder is a key element of our purpose so I’m delighted that we were the trailblazers for this scheme.”

Andy Dean, Head of New Build at Nationwide Building Society, said: “Raising a deposit continues to remain one of the biggest challenges facing those looking to move into their first home or on to their next. That is why we are pleased to be supporting Deposit Unlock and it’s great to see that it is now being rolled out nationally, providing a real boost to the new build sector.

“Supply of new housing also remains key to supporting first-time buyers and second steppers. Given the current strong appetite for new build properties, the Deposit Unlock scheme is particularly timely, especially given the forthcoming end of the Help to Buy Equity Loan scheme.”

Steven Rance, Managing Partner, mortgage indemnity at Gallagher Re, said: “The rollout of Deposit Unlock nationwide marks a significant milestone for everyone involved in developing the scheme since it was first conceived. It is a brilliant example of cross-sector collaboration and innovation where house builders, lenders and the insurance industry have come together to address an important social challenge. Deposit Unlock will enable home ownership to become an affordable and realistic ambition for many more people, so we are delighted to play our part in its development and launch.”

The pilot in the north-east that was launched in June and saw Newcastle Building Society offering mortgages through the scheme on the sites of four participating builders. The first successful completions through the scheme were announced last week. The building society then rolled out the scheme nationally in September with a limited number of builders, in advance of the Nationwide announcing in October its intention to join Deposit Unlock.


For media enquiries, or to arrange an interview, please contact Steve Turner – 020 7960 1606 / 07919 307760 or

Notes to Editors:

  1. The Home Builders Federation (HBF) is the principal representative body for private sector home builders and voice of the home building industry in England and Wales. HBF member firms account for some 80% of all new homes built in England and Wales in any one year, and include companies of all sizes, ranging from multi-national, household names through regionally based businesses to small local companies:
  2. The Nationwide offer is available through mortgage brokers on standard new build loans1 of between £25,000 and £750,000. Borrowers using Deposit Unlock will have access to the Society’s range of 95% LTV mortgages, currently starting from 2.62%, which they can us to buy a house or flat2.
  3. The Newcastle Building Society is offering the scheme up to a value of £600,000 and has announced a range of competitively priced Deposit Unlock 95% LTV mortgages , starting at 2.79% for a two year fixed rate.
  4. The 17 partaking house builders, all members of HBF are; Barratt, Bellway, Bewley, Bloor Homes, Countryside Properties, Crest Nicholson, Croudace, Davidson Group, Fairview, Hill, Keepmoat, Miller, Persimmon, Redrow, Taylor Wimpey, Thakeham, Vistry. Further builders are expected to join the scheme in the coming weeks.
  5. Each lender using the scheme will assess affordability in the normal way using their lending criteria, which includes consideration of income, outgoings such as regular payments and living costs, as well as an assessment of future changes that might have an impact on a borrower’s ability to pay a mortgage.

About Nationwide Building Society

Nationwide is the world's largest building society. It is owned by its 16 million members and exists to serve their needs. The Society is one of the UK’s largest providers for mortgages, savings and current accounts, as well as being a major provider of ISAs, credit cards, personal loans, insurance and investments.

As a mutual organisation, Nationwide Building Society uses its unique position to help rebuild society by making a positive difference to the lives of its members and the communities in which they live.

It is why Nationwide still values a branch network, supports communities through charitable grants, and places a premium on helping people thrive financially – whether helping them into a home of their own or giving them the financial support they need. Taking a stand and making a difference is what sets Nationwide apart. None of which would be possible without the dedicated service of its 18,000 employees.

About Newcastle Building Society

Newcastle Building Society* is the biggest building society in the North East, with a network of 30 branches and assets of more than £4.9bn. We’ve been here for our members for over 150 years.

As a leading local employer, we’re committed to growing our region’s talent and being a great place to work where people can realise their potential. We hold Platinum IIP and were voted Number 2, Best Places to Work in the North East in 2019.

We help people to own their home, to save and to plan their finances through our range of products and services. We believe in the role of the high street at the heart of our communities and are proactive in making financial information and financial advice accessible across our region.

Our Financial Advice is provided through our Newcastle Financial Advisers Limited division**.

We’re dedicated to helping our North East communities make positive changes; since 2016 the financial support through grants and donations from the Newcastle Building Society Community Fund at the Community Foundation to benefit local causes has surpassed £2.1m

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Steve Turner circle
Director of Communications

Steve Turner is HBF’s Director of Communications. Steve qualified as a Civil Engineer before moving into journalism and then communications. After six years as Head of Communications for some of Network Rail’s major projects Steve moved into the housing sector and joined HBF in 2008. His remit covers HBF’s media relations, marketing and general communications activity plus membership liaison. Steve is also leading on HBF’s focus on customer service and build quality.
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