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Getting a Competitive Studio Flat Mortgage

The comprehensive guide to ensuring your studio flat mortgage is as competitive as possible - with tips about what a lender will look for when they assess your application!

Almas Uddin
Almas Uddin

Founder and Mortgage Advisor

Almas Uddin2024-06-15
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Do You Have A Studio Flat? Here's The Right Mortgage Option For You

Studio flats can be challenging to mortgage - and yet are one of the most affordable types of home, and popular with first-time buyers, students and young people looking to get onto the property ladder.

The reason a studio apartment is difficult to lend against is all to do with the categorisation of non-standard properties, according to the lending policies of the mortgage provider.

Here we'll explain what you need to know before applying for a studio flat mortgage, and what to do if you have been rejected for lending elsewhere.

For more help, or to get started with your application, contact Revolution Brokers on 0330 304 3040 or email us at [email protected].

Is It Possible to Mortgage a Studio Apartment?

Yes, you can - but a lot depends on your circumstances, and which lender you choose to apply to. There are plenty of options, from a residential purchase mortgage to a buy to let investment mortgage, and each will carry different criteria.

Not all studio flats are classed as non-standard, depending on their size, location and layout. The more unusual the property, the less competitive the lending terms.

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What are the Lending Criteria for a Studio Flat Mortgage?

There are two sets of criteria for each mortgage application. The first set refers to the property itself, and the second set to your personal circumstances.

In terms of the property:

  • Studio flat size - a micro home is an efficient, smaller space designed for compact living. Many lenders will not mortgage any flat less than 30 m2, although that can vary. Studios without a separate kitchen area, or where the entrance is adjacent to an outdoor walkway, can also be harder to loan against.
  • Neighbouring properties - if the studio is above, or next to a commercial business, it becomes higher risk. Problems such as noise, odours and fire risk all make a property riskier as it would be harder to sell in a repossession scenario.
  • Construction - properties over seven storeys high can also be an issue. Likewise, a studio in a block built from concrete, or another non-standard material, can present a higher risk.
  • Leasehold - nearly all flats are purchased leasehold, and the length of time remaining will be a factor. Long leases of 90+ years are lower risk, with anything under 60 years a little more problematic.

How Do UK Mortgage Providers Calculate Affordability on a Studio Flat?

Lenders will also need to look at your income and affairs to see whether you can afford to keep up with the mortgage repayments:

  • Income is important since a lender will calculate a multiple of your yearly earnings to arrive at a maximum they can lend. If you are self-employed, or a contractor, a variable income mortgage lender might be the best solution.
  • Property costs - as a leaseholder, you will need to pay annual or monthly lease costs, service charges and ground rent to the freeholder. These costs will all be considered in the debt to income ratio calculation.
  • Deposit - the higher the deposit, the lower the Loan to Value ratio you are applying for, therefore lowering the risk. Most lenders will need at least a 10% deposit, although some might accept 5% if you meet all other criteria.
  • Credit rating - if you have a clean credit history, it supports your application and creditworthiness. A bad credit rating doesn't necessarily mean you won't be able to find a mortgage, but in more severe circumstances you may need to apply to a specialist bad credit lender.
  • Age - older applicants, may find that some lenders have an upper limit of 75 or 85. Others have no maximum age, so it's essential to apply to the right lender experienced in later life borrowing.

Are There Studio Mortgages on a Buy to Let Basis?

Landlords can undoubtedly buy a studio apartment to let out - although the same caveats apply with the limitations on the property's risk profile.

Generally, you need a more considerable deposit value of 15% or above and will need to show that the rental income easily covers the monthly payments.

Which Lenders Offer Studio Flat Mortgages?

There isn't one specific lender who is best to apply to - a lot depends on your circumstances, credit history and finances. For example, if you have an excellent credit history but a low income, you will need a lender who offers a more generous income multiple calculation.

Likewise, if you have bad credit, but can easily afford the repayments, paying a larger deposit or opting for a shorter mortgage term might mitigate the risk to the lender and improve the interest rates you are offered.

Professional Help with UK Studio Flat Mortgages

For more help with finding the most competitive studio flat mortgages on the market, contact business finance broker on 0330 304 3040 or email us at [email protected].

Our independent, whole-of-market team can assist with every aspect of your mortgage application, negotiating terms on your behalf directly with the lender.

Almas Uddin
Almas Uddin

Founder and Mortgage Advisor

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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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