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Mortgages for Concrete Properties in the UK

Mortgages for Concrete Properties in the UK

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Concrete is a commonly used building material, but for the purposes of a mortgage, it is usually considered non-standard.

Any property that isn't built from traditional bricks and mortar can be more difficult to mortgage, and the terms might be less competitive.

This guide will summarise all the key criteria for a concrete property mortgage and how to get started with your mortgage application.

For further advice and assistance from an independent team of non-standard mortgage experts, contact Revolution Brokers on 0330 304 3040, or email us at info@revolutionbrokers.co.uk.

The following topics are covered below:

Is It Possible to Mortgage a Property Built from Concrete?

Why are Non-Standard Concrete Properties More Expensive?

What are the Different Types of Concrete Properties?

What Mortgage Options Do I Have to Buy a Concrete Construction Property?

What are the Lending Criteria for a Concrete Build Mortgage Application?

Professional Advice on Concrete Construction Mortgages

Is It Possible to Mortgage a Property Built from Concrete?

Yes, you can undoubtedly find a mortgage, but considering the policies of your lender is essential. Some providers never lend against non-standard homes, and some specialise in this sector.

A lot depends on how closely you meet the lender's eligibility criteria and what risk profile they apply to the application.

The reason a concrete property is trickier to mortgage is that:

  • There are less standardised quality guidelines, and therefore there could be a higher risk of poor structural integrity.
  • Resale value might be impacted, making it harder for the lender to recoup the debt in a repossession scenario.

Many lenders will require a higher deposit or will offer less competitive interest rates to offset those risks.

Why are Non-Standard Concrete Properties More Expensive?

A professional whole-of-market broker can help you find the most affordable mortgage products available. Still, there are many pre-cast reinforced concrete homes in the UK (also known as PRC). Many such properties were built as social housing after the Second World War.

Such properties have been found to have common defects, such as erosion of the structural steel columns, or higher fire risks.

Therefore, most lenders will want to see either higher deposit levels or records that the property has been repaired and is compliant with modern building standards.

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What are the Different Types of Concrete Properties?

Lenders are likely to be interested in who built the property, and when. Each will have a different construction method that will dictate the quality of the structure of the building.

  • Wimpey No-Fines is a construction process used for much social housing in the UK. These properties are usually considered a higher risk, although specialist lenders may be happy to offer a mortgage.
  • Cornish Units were built as temporary PRCs, mainly in the southwest. Type One Cornish Units have PRC panelled walls on the ground floor, with mansard roofs and tile cladding over timber framing on the roof. Type Two is built from pre-cast reinforced concrete walls throughout the property.
  • Woolaway properties are typically made from concrete frames and panels. These homes are usually bungalows, or semi-detached or terraced affordable homes.
  • Dorran homes were built in the 1950s, most of which are pre-cast panel built bungalows.
  • Reema constructions were built from the 1940s through to the 1960s, and have two different types, with a Reema Conclad construction easier to mortgage than a Reema Hollow Panel property.
  • Orlit concrete homes are post-war properties, built quickly and cheaply. Many have since been demolished or may need extensive renovation before they can be mortgaged.
  • Airey constructions are another prefab housing design, with concrete columns and metal tubing reinforcement.
  • Unity PRC properties are usually semi-detached or terraced homes and have issues around steel beams, concrete disrepair, and asbestos in the roofing.
  • Wates Group homes were built to cope with national housing shortages, classified as defective housing, and therefore extremely difficult to secure financing against.
  • Hawksley properties look more like a traditional brick home, with a brick outer layer concealing PRC beams underneath. There are certified repair schemes for these properties, and repaired properties are more straightforward to lend against.
  • Whitson Fairhurst constructions were another fast building method to help generate quick, affordable housing - these properties are most commonly found in Scotland.

What Mortgage Options Do I Have to Buy a Concrete Construction Property?

As we've seen, the first step is to consult an independent broker who can recommend the limited lenders who will mortgage a concrete home or a non-standard build.

A full structural survey will be vital to securing a mortgage. Another option is to finance repair works, removing concrete and replacing it with brick, and then applying for a mortgage on a repaired concrete property.

The benefit of replacing concrete is that the resale value is likely to rise, and the profit on the property value will usually outweigh the repair costs.

What are the Lending Criteria for a Concrete Build Mortgage Application?

Lenders will need to assess multiple factors around both the property itself and your circumstances:

  • Loan to Value ratio - the higher the deposit, the lower the lender's risk, and the more likely they will be to offer a concrete property mortgage.
  • Affordability - lenders will usually set a maximum mortgage value based on four times your annual income. Sometimes this multiple can be as high as five or even six times, although that depends on matching the other criteria very closely.
  • Employment - if you have a variable income due to being self-employed, or working on a commission basis, you will need to apply to a lender with experience in assessing these employment types of affordability.
  • Age - some lenders set a cap of 75 or 85 on any new mortgage product, whereas others have no limit. Retired applicants should always assess later life borrowing options with advice from a professional broker.
  • Credit rating - adverse credit issues can add to the risk factor and make it harder for a lender to approve your application. If you have severe credit history problems, you might be best off applying to a specialist bad credit lender.

Professional Advice on Concrete Construction Mortgages

Revolution Finance Brokers is a whole-of-market, independent broker, working with thousands of clients to negotiate and secure lending on even the most unusual properties.

If you are looking to mortgage a concrete construction home, give us a call on 0330 304 3040 or email us at info@revolutionbrokers.co.uk and we'll work through the options with you.

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FCA disclaimer

The content included in our articles, blogs, web pages and news publications is based on information accurate at the time of writing. Note that policies and criteria can change regularly throughout the UK mortgage lending market, and it remains essential to contact the consultation team to receive up to date guidance. The information included on the Revolution Brokers site is not bespoke to any circumstances or individual application scenarios and therefore is not intended to be used as financial advice. The content we share is designed to be informative and helpful but cannot be relied upon to provide individual advice relevant to your mortgage requirements. All Revolution team members are fully qualified, trained and experienced to provide mortgage advice of an independent nature. We collaborate with lenders and providers who are regulated, authorised and registered with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). Should you require specific mortgage borrowing types, some products such as buy to let mortgages may not be FCA regulated. The Revolution team can provide further information about regulated and unregulated lending as required. Please remember that a mortgage is a debt which is secured against your home or property. Your home can be at risk of repossession if you do not keep up with the repayments or encounter any other difficulties in managing your mortgage borrowing responsibly. This also applies to any remortgage or home loan secured against your property, including equity release products.

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