Nationwide woos first-timers

NATIONWIDE Building Society has a new package of mortgages for first- time buyers. Its two-year fix is pegged at 6.99 per cent for first-time buyers with a 5 per cent deposit, while those with a 10 per cent deposit can get a 2 percentage point one-year discount on the variable rate, bringing it down to 5.99 per cent at present.

Britannia is offering five-year rates fixed at 7.77 per cent for a 75 per cent loan, 7.90 per cent for an 85 per cent loan, and 8.35 per cent for a 95 per cent loan. There is compulsory buildings insurance and a pounds 295 arrangement fee.

Alliance & Leicester has a five-year fix at 8.5 per cent, three years at 7.95 per cent, two years at 6.95 per cent and one year at 5.45 per cent, all on 90 per cent loans.

Abbey National is offering a new mortgage fixed at 8.99 per cent until January 2000. National Westminster is offering a longer term at the same rate - 8.99 per cent fixed until 2003. The arrangement fee is pounds 250, but this is waived for first-time buyers.

Barclays' new rates are 7.5 per cent for two years, 8.5 per cent for four years and 8.95 per cent for seven years. First-time buyers can fix at 5.99 per cent in the first year and 7.5 per cent in the second. Arrangement and booking fees total pounds 250.