A further eighteen leading local residential property developers have signed up to Ulster Bank’s Momentum Mortgage, which offers first time homebuyers in Northern Ireland protection against house price volatility of up to 15 per cent. As a result, an additional 542 new build homes in 21 developments across Northern Ireland are today being made available through the scheme. (See notes for developers and developments).

The Momentum Mortgage was originally released in September 2008 with 10 leading developers involved and was widely welcomed by consumer and business organisations and by leading politicians.

Derek Wilson, Head of Products at Ulster Bank, says that there are now 28 developers signed up to the scheme.

“There has been very significant interest in Momentum and following the success of the first phase, we are making it more widely available, with plans to extend it even further during the course of 2009,” he says.

“Houses in the first time buyer sector are more realistically priced and interest rates are now at historic lows, so the environment for first time buyers has improved. Momentum addresses some of the challenges that first time buyers are facing, including the need to save for a deposit and the fear of house values declining.

“We have committed £100m to lend to first time buyers through our Momentum mortgage and are confident that it will continue to support hundreds of first time buyers onto the property ladder who would be otherwise unable to buy their first home,” said Mr Wilson.

Ulster Bank’s Momentum Mortgage is designed to provide first time buyers with protection against house price volatility of up to 15%, and allows them to purchase a home without having to fund a deposit themselves, with a five per cent deposit contributed by the developer.

Alan and Rebecca Sherrard are first time homebuyers who purchased a newly built four bedroom detached property in Limefield Rise, Craigavon in December, using Ulster Bank’s Momentum mortgage. They say that not having to save for a deposit has allowed them to buy their first home.

Alan said: “It was too good an opportunity to miss. The peace of mind of knowing we have protection should house prices fall along with the added advantage of the developer paying the deposit meant that we have been able to buy our first home much earlier than we would ever have thought. With the additional money saved from not paying a deposit we have been able to purchase all the furniture we needed for our new home.”

Ulster Bank has a dedicated team of advisers in all of its 92 branches across Northern Ireland who are on hand to answer questions and discuss options with first time buyers.

The developers and developments that will be included in the scheme, announced today are:

1. Tiffen Developments Limited, Riverglade Manor, Lurgan
2. Tiffen Developments Limited, Bachelors Avenue, Portadown
3. ANSA Developments Limited, Clana Rury, Co. Derry
4. Cargan Developments Limited, 242 - 252 Abbey Road, Carrowdore
5. Gilmore Developments, Windsor Lodge, Warringstown
6. ADH (Ireland) Limited, North Queen Street, Belfast
7. Kevin Watson Group Woodside Heights, Waterside, Co. Derry
8. Brett Properties Limited, Churchfields, Rasharkin
9. Topaz Developments Limited , Craigaview Layde Road, Knocknacarry, Cushendun
10. Forthsea Developments Limited, Doagh Road, Ballyclare
11. Redbay Developments Limited, Castlegate, Bangor
12. Scarlet (NI) Limited, McBriar Meadow, Main Street, Carrowdore
13. Woodend Investments Limited, Station Road, Sydenham
14. David Mitchell, Leafield Island Road, Ballycarry
15. David Mitchell, Mayfield Manor, Hyde Park Road, Mallusk
16. McGimpsey Kane Builders, Longfields, Ballyhalbert
17. T & A Kernoghan (Holdings) Limited, Tudor 3B, Shankill Road, Belfast
18. Glasswater Developments, Chapel View, Teconnaught, Annacloy, Co. Down
19. Ferguson Homes, Lakeview Manor, Belfast Road, Newtownards
20. Brian Morris Construction Limited, Glencairne, Bush Road, Dungannon
21. Brian Morris Construction Limited, Kilgowney Manor, Caledon, Co Armagh

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