New Build Mortgages

Thinking about buying a new build property? In this comprehensive guide, we explain everything you need to know about new build mortgages

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Home New Build Mortgages New Build Mortgages
Pete Mugleston

Author: Pete Mugleston

Mortgage Advisor, MD

Updated: March 15, 2024

We’ll explain everything you need to know about new-build mortgages, including how to get one, which lenders offer them and how a broker can help you secure the best deal.

Are there specific mortgages for new build homes?

Yes, many lenders, including both high street names and specialists, offer new build mortgages.

These are products designed specifically for properties that have never been bought or lived in before. Different lenders have their own take on what constitutes a ‘new build’. Some will only consider recently constructed properties to be new builds, while other lenders will include ‘off-plan’ properties or properties that have been substantially renovated in their definition.

In this context, off-Plan’ essentially refers to the blueprint and potential ‘spec’ of the property.

Don’t confuse new build mortgages with self-build or construction mortgages, which are ideal if you’re building your own home and are entirely different products.

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Deposit requirements

Lenders typically require larger deposits for new build homes than for standard properties. This is because the value of new builds can fall the moment someone lives in them, therefore the lender is taking on more risk.

You should expect to put down at least 15% of the property’s value (85% loan-to-value or LTV) if you’re buying a new build. Some lenders may even require as much as 20% or 25%.

This is significantly more than the 5%-10% (90%-95% LTV) offered on standard properties. 5% deposit mortgages are typically only allowable on houses, not flats. There may also be product restrictions for customers with a small deposit, such as the fixed period for example.

Be sure to check with your mortgage broker prior to applying as lenders deposit requirements can change at any time, based on the market conditions.

How to get a new build mortgage

If you plan to apply for a new build home loan, here are a few essential steps you should take…

1. Check if you’re eligible for a home-buying scheme

If you don’t think you’ll be able to afford a large deposit, there are a number of schemes to help prospective homeowners buy new-build properties with just a 5% deposit. We go into these schemes in more detail below.

2. Time your application carefully

If you’re buying ‘off plan’, think carefully about the timing of your application. If your developer overruns and there’s a delay to the build time, your mortgage offer could expire, which means you’d have to start the entire application process again and you may not be guaranteed the same terms by your lender.

New build mortgage offers tend to last longer than standard mortgage offers (9-12 months compared to 6 months), but not always. In some circumstances you may only have 28 days to exchange. So, if you’re buying off plan, it’s worth checking how long your offer is valid for.

3. Speak to a new build broker

It’s always worth seeking advice from an independent broker who specialises in new-build mortgages. They’ll understand the complexities of buying this type of property and will be able to give you customised advice and help you with your application.

They’ll also research the market on your behalf and find you the best deal to suit your circumstances. It’s highly likely an experienced broker will have access to exclusive deals and if you’re buying off plan, should be able to find a lender willing to offer a longer validity period.

Need to find a broker to help you with your new build mortgage? Get in touch today and we’ll match you with one of the specialists in our network.

 

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Schemes you could consider

As mentioned above, there are several government mortgage schemes aimed at helping fledgling homeowners buy new build properties. Here’s a rundown of what’s available:

First Homes Scheme

This allows eligible first time buyers to purchase new build properties with a discount of between 30% and 50% compared to market prices of equivalent properties. The discount stays on the home forever, meaning every time it’s sold the new buyer will benefit from the discount. Buyers must have a household income of less than £80,000 (or £90,000 in London) to qualify.

The First Homes Scheme is open to people of any profession but key workers are prioritised.

Shared ownership

Shared ownership lets you buy a share of a new build property and then rent the remaining share from a council or housing association. If and when you can afford it, you can buy more shares in your home, which is known as staircasing. The more of the property you own, the less rent you pay.

Deposit Unlock Scheme

Developed by the Home Builders Federation, this scheme helps both first time buyers and home movers buy a new build home with a deposit of just 5%. It’s going someway to filling the gap left by the government’s Help to Buy scheme, which is now closed to new applicants.

Which lenders offer new-build mortgages?

When it comes to lenders, there are plenty to choose from. Many of the high street names have been known to offer new build mortgages, these include: Barclays, Halifax and HSBC.

A number of lesser-known finance houses have also been known to offer these products, for example, Virgin Money, Leeds and Skipton Building Societies.  Specialist lenders such as Kensington and Accord, may also consider applications.

The fact there are so many lenders to choose from makes seeking advice from an experienced broker even more crucial. A broker will be able to assess your circumstances and be able to advise which lenders to approach and which to avoid, saving you both the time and expense of wasted applications.

Are there lenders who will mortgage a non-standard construction new build?

Potentially, yes, as all lenders have different criteria when it comes to non-standard construction properties.

Some may have rules that allow them to accept certain types of properties or materials whereas others may not. Many will rely solely on the valuer’s comments.

Today’s best interest rates

The table below provides an illustration of the best interest rates currently available for new build mortgages.

Lender Product Details
Frosted Rates Image

Looking for more rates and deals?

We can match you with a mortgage broker who can provide you with up-to-date bespoke rates and deals from across the entire market.

Last updated May 2024

Please note that the above rates are purely for example purposes and are subject to change at the lender’s discretion. Speaking to a mortgage broker is the best way to find the most up-to-date deals.

What is a typical LTV ratio for a new build property?

Some lenders can be reluctant to lend larger amounts of money for new builds, so you may find it difficult to obtain a loan for 100% of the property value.

New buildings can be deemed as more of a risk to lenders in comparison to older buildings because there is no record of property repairs.

This can make it difficult for lenders to establish whether the property is likely to need costly repairs in the future, which could affect the homeowner’s ability to repay their mortgage.

Are there lenders who offer 90% LTV new build mortgages?

Most of the high street will consider up to 90% for new build properties (85% for flats). If you need to go with a specialist or subprime lender you may find this restricted to 80% or even lower. In some very rare circumstances, it may be possible to get a mortgage with no deposit for a new build property. That being said, there are only a small handful of lenders who may be willing to provide a 100% mortgage.

Why is the LTV rate for new builds lower?

New build properties are usually built to a quality standard and therefore have better energy efficiency than older homes. Despite this, getting a mortgage for one can be more difficult than for older properties.

The value of a new build property can quickly decrease so some mortgage lenders are less willing to loan larger amounts of money for them.

This protects them against losing money in the event that the borrower defaults on their mortgage and they have to repossess. If the property sells for a lot less than they loaned for, the lender will lose money.

New build properties that haven’t been built yet

As well as this, if the new build home you wish to buy hasn’t been fully built yet, then lenders might be more reluctant to lend to you.

This is because the standard of the property cannot be fully assessed which makes it difficult for the lender to calculate how much they could resell it for in the event of repossession.

Additionally, if the property hasn’t yet been built, a surveyor cannot assess the risk of the property having faults that may need costly repairs.

Any unforeseen repairs could affect the borrower’s ability to pay their mortgage, which poses a risk to lenders. Because of this, many are reluctant to loan larger amounts for new builds and offer loan to value rates of 85%.

Can you get a buy-to-let mortgage on a new build?

Yes, but lenders will view your application as higher risk for a number of reasons so you should expect to put down a reasonably hefty deposit (at least 20%-25% of the property value).

The reasons include:

  • You have no evidence that the property will be attractive to tenants and how much rent you’ll be able to charge.
  • The value of the property will very likely fall as soon as someone starts living in it.
  • There might be construction delays if the property isn’t built yet, meaning a period of time when you’ll be unable to generate rental income.

A broker who specialises in buy to let mortgages for new builds is best placed to help you secure a competitive deal that best suits your circumstances and requirements.

Is it harder to mortgage a new build flat?

Unfortunately, it can be difficult to find a lender who will provide a mortgage for a new build flat and for the lenders that will, often they only 85% of the property’s value.

This can be frustrating for buyers, especially as often there is a misconception that it will be easier to mortgage a flat rather than a house because they can be cheaper.

Even if a flat were cheaper than a house, lenders view new-build flats as more of a risk. This is because some flats can be harder to sell in the event that the lender has to repossess the property to recover the money they loaned.

New builds are notoriously more difficult to sell in general, especially if there are still available new plots on the land it is built.

Therefore, a flat that has already been lived in can appear less attractive to other buyers, making it harder for the lender to sell.

Will I be credit checked when I apply for a new build mortgage?

Yes. Credit checks are an unavoidable part of applying for a mortgage as lenders will want to assess the risk you pose to them as a borrower.

If you have ‘bad credit’ some lenders may see you as a risk and can reject your application.

That being said, the severity and date of your ‘bad credit’ can have an impact on whether or not you are accepted or rejected by any given lender.

There are some lenders who may be happy with your ‘bad credit’ whereas others may not be so lenient.

In these cases, sometimes a larger deposit can improve the likelihood of acceptance as well as the range of lenders to choose from.

What if you have bad credit?

It’s entirely possible to get approved for a new build mortgage with bad credit. You may, however, have to put down a larger deposit – anywhere between 15% and 30% – or, depending on the severity of your situation, go with a lender that specialises in helping people in this position.

Get matched with a broker who specialises in new build mortgages

Getting approved for a new build mortgage comes with its own set of obstacles so it’s a good idea to seek advice from a specialist broker who understands the intricacies of the new build market and who can guide you through the process.

Our broker matching service can connect you with an expert who can help you today. Give us a call on 0808 189 2301 or make an enquiry and get matched with a broker for a free initial conversation.

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FAQs

There aren’t specific mortgages for new builds in Scotland. The process for buying this type of property follows the same principles as the rest of the UK, for example, you may have to pay a higher interest rate or put down a larger deposit.

There’s no reason why you can’t get approved for a new build mortgage if you’re a contractor or you’re self-employed. Each lender will have its own criteria when it comes to non-standard employment. As long as you meet this criteria, you should have no problem securing a loan.

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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 Online Mortgage Advisor of course!

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Pete Mugleston

Mortgage Advisor, MD

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