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Flat Mortgages for Homes in High Rises

Apartments in high-rise buildings may be considered a specialist mortgage situation - but there are multiple niche lenders available. Read on for expert tips on finding a competitive mortgage for a flat in a high-rise property.

Almas Uddin
Almas Uddin

Founder and Mortgage Advisor

Almas Uddin2024-07-17
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Flat Mortgages for Homes in High Rises

High-rise apartment blocks are commonplace in most busy cities. They can be more affordable than standalone homes and be a good investment option.

However, many buyers don't realise that a high rise can be considered high risk and tricky to finance through a mainstream bank.

In this guide, we will summarise the definition of a high rise and the best options for a mortgage in a non-standard property scenario. For tailored assistance with your mortgage requirements, contact Revolution Brokers on 0330 304 3040, or email the team at [email protected].

What Flats are Categorised as Being a High Rise?

As with all mortgage criteria, this differs between lenders. Still, the typical definition is that any building over seven storeys is a high rise.

There are millions of high-rise apartment buildings, many of which were built in urban regeneration projects in the 1960s and 1970s.

The high street lending sector is becoming more flexible with lending terms, but you will need support from an experienced broker in many cases.

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Are There Mortgages Available for High Rise Flats and Apartments?

There are indeed, but some high street lenders won't help because of the nature of this type of property.

Once you have found the right lender, they will assess criteria relating to your circumstances and finances, and the building itself.

  • Assessments are essential to analyse whether you can afford the mortgage repayments. That means establishing your income sources, and whether you have a stable income from permanent employment or variable pay as a contractor or self-employed business.
  • Deposit value is also critical, as the higher the deposit, the lower the Loan to Value ratio you are applying for, and the lower the risk.
  • Credit checks are carried out - if you have adverse credit issues, these might be considered minor and not impact the application. In more severe circumstances, a specialist bad credit lender might be the best option.
  • Age is also a risk factor, with some lenders placing upper age limits on who they will lend to. Some specialise in later life lending and can offer a mortgage at any age.
  • Existing debts are calculated as part of the debt to income ratio. Lenders need to work out your monthly expendable income and stress-test the repayments to make sure you'd still afford the mortgage if your circumstances change, if the interest rate increases.

In terms of the flat, a lender will assess:

  • How many storeys high the block is - the taller, the more risky the mortgage becomes. In some cases, lenders are happy to mortgage flats in high rises, provided there is a lift if there are more than five floors.
  • The building construction is also vital, as concrete is a non-standard building material.
  • The location has an impact as flats in central urban areas such as London will retain their resale value better, and be easier to sell in a repossession scenario.
  • Risk exposure means how many flats the same lender mortgages in the same property - there is often a cap of around 20% on this lending.
  • The leasehold length also makes a difference. If there are 70 years or less on the leasehold, a lender might be more reluctant to lend. They will also need to assess additional costs such as ground rent and services charges to factor into the affordability assessment.

Can I Mortgage a Block of Flats as a Buy to Let Investment?

You can - if you want to purchase a whole block of flats to add to your property portfolio, you will certainly need a specific buy to let mortgage.

This type of product is called a multi-unit freehold mortgage. In some cases, lenders will accept the application provided there are no more individual units then their policies dictate. That figure could be five apartments, for example.

Investors can also purchase buy to let flats in a high rise on their own as a rental investment, through a more typical buy to let mortgage.

Are There Commercial Mortgages for Investments into a High Rise Building?

If you wish to invest in a high-rise block of flats with over ten apartments, it is unlikely that you'd be able to get this mortgage size as an individual. Commercial mortgages are more flexible and more likely to be able to finance the purchase.

Which are the Best UK Lenders for Flats in High Rise Blocks?

In many cases, a specialist lender is most suitable since they have more experience in lending against properties in high rises, and will tend to offer more competitive rates.

If you have been rejected for a mortgage on a high rise flat elsewhere or would like to compare rates available on the market, get in touch.

Expert Support with High Rise Apartment Mortgages

Should you have further questions, or need independent advice about a mortgage for a high rise flat, contact business loan broker on 0330 304 3040, or email us at [email protected].

As a whole-of-market broker, we scour the UK lending sector for the best deals for your investment and negotiate directly with lenders to ensure you get the most competitive rates.

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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