Global reinsurance broker Gallagher Re has today announced that Deposit Unlock — the innovative reinsurance-backed mortgage indemnity scheme that's opening up the new build market to buyers with 5% deposits — has achieved a significant milestone with more than 75 UK house builders now signed up to the scheme, taking it to market through more than 80 different developer brands.
Deposit Unlock

The backing of such a substantial number of developers eligible for the scheme — who together are responsible for 82% of newly built units in the UK1 by the top 75 house builders — demonstrates Deposit Unlock’s growing recognition and adoption by leaders of the house building community, as the scheme continues its mission of making homeownership more affordable at zero cost to the taxpayer.

From a base of 17 founding house builder members in 2021, the scheme now has in excess of 75 developers signed up with an increasing choice of lenders on board. Taken together, this rise in industry support for Deposit Unlock is significantly expanding the number and range of property developments where low-deposit buyers can take advantage of the scheme.

Developed by Gallagher Re in partnership with the Home Builders Federation (HBF) and leading house builders, the 5% deposit mortgage scheme was launched in response to the winding up of the government-backed shared-equity solution Help to Buy. Deposit Unlock specifically sought to address an ongoing gap in the mortgage market by enabling the effective return of 95% loan-to-value (LTV) lending products in the new build space.

The scheme aims to help more buyers get onto or move up the housing ladder by making homeownership more affordable. Protection offered to participating mortgage lenders — funded by the house builder community — enables them to lend to borrowers at 95%. This protection means first-time buyers and existing homeowners can use Deposit Unlock to purchase a new-build home worth up to £833,2502 with a 5% deposit and a competitively priced mortgage product.

Freddie Scarratt, UK head of Mortgage Risk at Deposit Unlock and head of UK Mortgage at Gallagher Re, said: “Surpassing 75 signed-up house builders signifies the trust and confidence placed in Deposit Unlock and the industry’s continued eagerness to embrace innovative solutions. This milestone demonstrates the positive impact our initiative is having for both homebuyers and house builders. Not only are we helping to unlock people’s home ownership dreams, but developers can seize new opportunities and attract new customers.

“The scheme’s relevance and importance will only become more pertinent in partnership with our top 10 lenders, Nationwide Building Society, Accord Mortgages and Newcastle Building Society. We are also actively engaged and progressing with other industry-leading and innovative lenders, which is pivotal to the sustained growth of the scheme and making additional offerings available to borrowers.”

Andy Dean, head of New Build at Nationwide Building Society, said: “Deposit Unlock is a great example of cross-industry collaboration delivering a really positive initiative for homebuyers that we’re pleased to support. The impressive rollout of the scheme to encompass the majority of house builders responsible for new build developments in the UK means it now has real nationwide reach. This is great news for our customers who can take advantage of the scheme across an ever-growing range of locations and property developments.”


1. The total number of house builders that are now both eligible and live with the Deposit Unlock scheme were the developers responsible for 82% of units completed by the Top 75 House Builders, as recorded in the Housing Market Intelligence Report 2022

2. As of 1 October 2023