A deposit-free mortgage specifically aimed at people currently renting has now been launched by a UK building society.

While a handful of other no-deposit deals are available, they all need the financial backing of family or friends.

Skipton Building Society said that, while its mortgage requires 12 months of on-time rental payments and a good credit history, it does not need a guarantor.

A campaign group commented that, while no-deposit deals could help buyers, lack of affordable homes remains a key problem.

Generation Rent, which campaigns on behalf of private renters, said the shortage of properties within the budget of first-time buyers remains a major stumbling block for those struggling to get on the property ladder.

The BBC says new buyers are facing an uphill battle, with rapidly rising rents making saving for a deposit increasingly difficult.

Zero-deposit products

Since the financial crisis in 2008 there have been very few 100% loan value mortgages available. Currently there are 15 other zero-deposit products on the market, according to financial data firm Moneyfacts, accounting for just under 0.3% of the UK market.

The new five-year fixed-rate mortgage from Skipton is distinctive from those existing products by not requiring a guarantor and is only for people currently renting a property. However, at 5.49%, the interest rate is more expensive than the average five-year fix of 5%.

The Skipton, which is the UK's fourth-biggest building society, said it had recognised a "gap in the market".

Stuart Haire, the society's chief executive, told the BBC that "until now there has been no solution for renters to buy a property due to a lack of savings or access to family wealth".

Mortgage expert Andrew Montlake believes there is demand for a product like this, which provides another option for people stuck in the rental market. He thinks it will "help some people get onto the property ladder".

But many renters dreaming of a home will still be unable to get their hands on one of these mortgages. Even if someone has 12 consecutive months of good rental history, they still have to pass credit and affordability checks.

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