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Concessionary Purchase Mortgages

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Pete Mugleston

Author: Pete Mugleston - Mortgage Advisor, MD

Updated: April 26, 2022

A concessionary purchase, if you‘re lucky enough to be offered one, is an excellent way to get a foot on the property ladder without spending years saving for a mortgage deposit. But how does a concessionary mortgage work and how much deposit do you need to get one?

We’ve covered everything you need to know about how you can buy a house below market value mortgage in this guide.

What is a concessionary purchase mortgage and how do they work?

A concessionary purchase is a term used to describe the purchase of a house for less than market value. It is also known as a below market value purchase (BMV). Mortgages used to buy properties at below market value are referred to as concessionary mortgages or BMV mortgages. This kind of concessionary purchase often, though not always, occurs between relatives.

There are different types of concessionary mortgages, as we describe below:

Parental/family concessionary mortgages

Recognising the expense and difficulties their children face in today’s property market, many parents want to help, and a Family Concessionary Purchase allows them to do this.

Landlord concessionary mortgages

Similar to parents, a landlord may wish to sell the property to their tenants at a discount. They may wish to avoid the cost and headache of selling the property on the open market, or recognise the value in the rent paid, especially if they are selling to good, long-standing tenants.

Like gifted equity deposit mortgages, landlord concessionary buy-to-let mortgages also come with caveats for many lenders, including:

  • The discount given cannot be below a certain percentage (usually 5-10%)
  • Some lenders ask the borrower to put in at least 5% of their own cash
  • Some lenders require the tenant to have lived in the property for at least a year before a BMV mortgage can be agreed
  • There are relatively few landlord discount mortgage lenders who will offer a concessionary buy-to-let mortgage, for the rare occasion where a borrower wants to move out and then rent the property out to someone new

When buying below market value, mortgage applications can become a little more complex. Some lenders aren’t happy to be involved at all.

Some lenders will recognise the discount as a deposit, but also require the buyer to put their own deposit in on top. Some stipulate that the agreed discount purchase price is the true value of the property and require a deposit based on this figure, regardless of the true market value, even if the property is worth a million and is being bought for a pound!

Property concessionary discounts from employers

It’s also possible for an employer to sell a property to an employee at below market value. To avoid any disputes about ownership, the seller must acknowledge that any discount provided is a gift and has no conditions attached to it. This is done in writing through a waiver of rights.

Developer concessionary purchase discounts

Developers can also offer buyers a concessionary purchase discount (more commonly known as a developer discount) on the market value of one of their properties. It can be more difficult to find a lender who will provide a mortgage for this though, especially regarding new builds.

Lenders will want to know why the developer is prepared to sell at a discount. It could just be because they need a quick sale, but a lender will want to establish that it’s not because of problems with the property as this could cause problems later down the line if they need to repossess and then sell the home.

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Concessionary purchase discounts on the open market

Buyers can receive a discount from sellers on the open market too. This is perhaps a little rarer and again it will be harder to find a lender willing to lend in instances like this as they will need to know why a discount is being offered.

For example, if the seller is offering a discount because of structural problems, damp or any other issues with the property, the lender will see this as a higher risk and could ask for a higher deposit to offset this.

How to get a concessionary purchase mortgage

The process isn’t really any different compared to a standard mortgage application, although you can expect the lender to place more scrutiny around the property’s market value. They will also want to know why you are buying it below market value. For instance, are you buying the property from a family member or is a developer’s discount?

You can read more about the mortgage application process and the documents you’ll need to provide in our dedicated guide.

In addition to getting your mortgage application approved, you’ll no doubt want to secure the best deal possible, and this is why it’s important to seek professional advice before you press ahead. There are mortgage brokers who specialise in concessionary purchase deals and they know exactly which lenders offer the best interest rates on them.

Getting in touch with us so we can match you with the right broker for your needs and circumstances is the most logical first step if you’re buying below market value.

What impacts eligibility?

Factors that can affect your eligibility for a concessionary purchase include:

  • Property type – listed buildings can be seen as riskier for lenders to provide mortgages on as they tend to be more difficult to sell on in case of repossession
  • Income – Lenders will need to see proof of your income so they can be confident that you can afford your mortgage repayments
  • Length of mortgage term – A standard mortgage term is 25 years and so there are some lenders that won’t provide a mortgage to elderly applicants. Borrowers wanting a mortgage over a shorter period of time will need to prove affordability.
  • Deposit amount: Putting down as much deposit as possible can help you ensure that you get the best rates available
  • Credit history: Clean credit isn’t always an absolute must, but a specialist lender might be needed if you have bad credit of any kind

What should I do before applying for a concessionary purchase?

If you’re applying for a Concessionary mortgage the following steps can be helpful during and before the application process:

Make sure both you and the seller understand below-market-value mortgages

A concessionary mortgage requires the seller to discount the selling price of their property in order for the buyer to afford it and not have to save a deposit. This is a huge financial gift and should not be taken lightly without both parties understanding the terms and conditions before proceeding.

Review your credit files

If you want to apply for a mortgage, it’s vital that you know your credit history and understand what lenders will see when assessing your application.

You might find that your credit score differs between each credit firm. This is because each credit firm uses different criteria to calculate someone’s credit score, and that’s why it’s best to have a copy of each report from the major firms including:

  • Experian
  • Checkmyfile
  • Credit Monitor (previously Call Credit)

The advisors we work with can help you with this and can also offer you a free trial with the major credit firms listed above. See our credit check page to get your free report.

Deposit size

In theory, it’s possible to get a mortgage for 100% of the purchase price if the overall loan to value (LTV) based on the market value is suitable security for the lender. This would usually need to equal the lenders normal minimum deposit requirements, at around 85-90% of the market value.

The great thing about a concessionary purchase is that with some lenders, the difference between the property value and the purchase price is recognised as your ‘deposit’, therefore providers don’t require you to put in any of your own money as deposit.

The example below shows the effect the sale price can have on the size of the loan required. The bigger the discount applied to the market value of the property, the lower the loan needed.

Your parents have a property which is valued at £200,000 but they decide to sell it to you below market value at £170,000.

Some lenders (Lender A) will not lend at all as they don’t accept any concessionary purchase arrangement regardless of discount or deposit.

Some lenders (Lender B) recognise the difference of £30,000 in the sale price and the market value acts as the deposit (15%), meaning that you, as buyer, can qualify for an 85% mortgage for the full £170,000.

Some lenders (Lender C) recognise the discount but still require the buyer to put in personal cash of at least 10% of the discount value.

Property with Market Value of £200,000
Discount applied Sale price LTV Lender A Lender B Lender C
Mortgage Deposit Mortgage Deposit Mortgage Deposit
£30,000 (15%) £170,000 85% X X £170,000 £0 £153,000 £17,000
£20,000 (10%) £180,000 90% X X £180,000 £0 £162,000 £18,000
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How to choose the right concessionary purchase mortgage lender

Selecting a lender is best done via a broker with access to all the concessionary mortgage lenders across the UK. Over the years we’ve helped lots of homeowners with below market value property mortgages.

When comparing concessionary mortgage deals, the rates are usually the same as for a standard purchase. As such, mortgage rates will differ depending on all the usual factors such as the type of property you’re buying, the length of your mortgage term, your credit history and the amount of mortgage you are applying for.

A good broker should be able to find you the best deal, based on your circumstances, from all the concessionary purchase mortgage lenders that would consider you.

An adviser should always make things clear to you and gain your agreement before proceeding with any mortgage concessionary purchase applications.

The brokers we work with are experts and can find out how much deposit you’ll need with each of the Concessionary Mortgage providers, and connect you with the lender offering the best deals, should you decide to proceed.

What are the limitations of a concessionary mortgage?

Although a below market value mortgage can provide a more affordable path to the property ladder for some, it’s important to highlight the limitations of this product type. Such as…

The discount must be a gift and not a loan

A concessionary mortgage is sometimes referred to as a gifted equity deposit mortgage because any discount must be given as a gift absolute, and not a loan or share in the property, and there should be no conditions attached to it.

For the person selling the house, this is a huge financial gift and therefore your mortgage lender may ask that both you and the seller seek independent financial advice before moving forward.

For anyone wanting to share the property rather than sign it over completely, it might be worth keeping in mind that you can transfer a mortgage and have the equity switch from one party to all.

Some lenders won’t allow your parents to live in the property after the sale

If buying from parents and they are planning to continue living in the property after selling it to their child, it’s important to note that most lenders prohibit the person selling the property from continuing to live there after the sale, usually due to concerns around rights to ownership and residence should the property ever be repossessed.

This is particularly relevant in concessionary purchases where there has also been a gift of equity that could, in future, be disputed without the correct legal protection.

That said, there are a few lenders that can consider letting the seller remain in the property, providing that they sign a waiver of rights, and the buyer can of course afford the mortgage alone.

Can I get a concessionary mortgage with bad credit?

Depending on your circumstances, it is possible to get a concessionary mortgage on a property even if you have bad credit. The good news is that ‘bad’ credit is subjective, and there are many lenders offering mortgages to people even with severe and recent credit issues, in the right circumstances.

Some forms of credit, like a repossession or bankruptcy, are viewed as more severe whilst others including late payments and a low credit score can be acceptable on a mortgage application.

Every lender has different terms and conditions and they use varying criteria to assess someone’s risk and ability to repay their mortgage. While one lender may reject you, another may have no problem approving your application.

The specialist advisors we work with are experts at finding concessionary purchase mortgages for people with bad credit and will be able to help you find an affordable mortgage deal based on your circumstances.

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Do I have to pay stamp duty?

If you are a first-time buyer and have never owned a freehold or have a leasehold interest in a residential property in the UK or abroad, then you are exempt from paying stamp duty, as long as you are purchasing a property at or below £500,000.

If you’re not a first time buyer, the great thing about concessionary purchase stamp duty is that it is calculated on the sale price of the property rather than the market value.

For example, if the market value of a property is £200,000 but it is sold to you for £170,000, the stamp duty on a concessionary purchase would be calculated using £170,000.

Stamp Duty is charged at 2% for properties between the value of £125,001 and £250,000, so it would mean you would pay £3,400 in Stamp Duty.

Property with Market Value of £200,000 Rate of Stamp Duty Stamp Duty payable
Sold at £200,000 2% £4,000
Sold at £170,000 (under MV) 2% £3,400

Not only does a concessionary purchase save the buyer money by reducing the sale price of the property, it can also reduce the cost of stamp duty.

Speak to an expert

If you’re looking to take out a concessionary purchase mortgage, your first port of all should be expert advice from a broker who specialises in customers who are buying below market value. They can offer you bespoke advice, and potentially even help you save time and money by matching you with the right lender, first time.

Call 0808 189 2301 or make an enquiry and we’ll set up a free, no-obligation chat between you and a concessionary purchase mortgage specialist today.

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About the author

Pete, an expert in all things mortgages, cut his teeth right in the middle of the credit crunch. With plenty of people needing help and few mortgage providers lending, Pete found great success in going the extra mile to find mortgages for people whom many others considered lost causes. The experience he gained, coupled with his love of helping people reach their goals, led him to establish Online Mortgage Advisor, with one clear vision – to help as many customers as possible get the right advice, regardless of need or background.

Pete’s presence in the industry as the ‘go-to’ for specialist finance continues to grow, and he is regularly cited in and writes for both local and national press, as well as trade publications, with a regular column in Mortgage Introducer and being the exclusive mortgage expert for LOVEMoney. Pete also writes for OMA of course!

Read more about Pete

Pete Mugleston

Mortgage Advisor, MD

FCA disclaimer

*Based on our research, the content contained in this article is accurate as of the most recent time of writing. Lender criteria and policies change regularly so speak to one of the advisors we work with to confirm the most accurate up to date information. The information on the site is not tailored advice to each individual reader, and as such does not constitute financial advice. All advisors working with us are fully qualified to provide mortgage advice and work only for firms who are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. They will offer any advice specific to you and your needs.

Some types of buy to let mortgages are not regulated by the FCA. Think carefully before securing other debts against your home. As a mortgage is secured against your home, it may be repossessed if you do not keep up with repayments on your mortgage. Equity released from your home will also be secured against it.

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