Mortgages for Concrete Construction Properties

Get expert advice on how to secure a mortgage approval on a concrete constructed house

Firstly, is the property a concrete construction?

Home Property Types Mortgages For Concrete Construction Properties
Pete Mugleston

Author: Pete Mugleston

Mortgage Advisor, MD

Jon Nixon

Reviewer: Jon Nixon

Director of Distribution

Updated: March 18, 2024

How we reviewed this article:

Our experts continuously monitor changes in the financial space and work closely with qualified mortgage advisors for factual verification.

March 18, 2024

If you’ve found a house that you want to buy, but it has been built with concrete, you may wonder if it’s possible to get a mortgage for this type of property.

This article looks in detail at mortgages for all different types of concrete construction homes, including ex-council properties. It also identifies some of the lenders that may offer these mortgages – so you can determine if this is the right purchase for you.

Can you get a mortgage on a concrete house?

Yes, it’s possible. However, concrete construction homes are deemed as ‘non-standard’ construction which can impact your chances of getting the approval you need. There are fewer providers to choose from which means you may have to accept a product with less favourable terms – such as a higher interest rate or deposit. 

Why is it more difficult?

Lenders are more hesitant to extend a mortgage for concrete construction homes as they perceive them to be riskier. Structural weaknesses have been identified in many of these properties due mainly to the steel columns within them becoming prone to erosion over time. This subsequently makes them harder to resell.

In particular, concrete construction homes using the Large Panel System (LPS) are hard to secure a mortgage. However, In Situ Poured Concrete (IPC) or Precast Reinforced Concrete (PRC) properties may be acceptable to lenders subject to it being renovated to an appropriate standard.

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Types of concrete construction properties and how to make them more mortgageable

It’s important to identify which type of construction your potential property is as some are seen as safer or less risky than others. Instructing a surveyor before you exchange contracts can help you pinpoint any of the specific risks to your potential home and take action to rectify them.

Taylor Wimpey No Fines

Taylor Wimpey No Fines properties were built between the 40s and 70s. They had quick turnaround times and better insulation thanks to no sand or fine gravel being used. They have been seen, however, not to be as strong structurally as other concrete structures which may cause issues with mortgage applications.

Having repairs carried out by a licensed structural engineer, evidenced by a PRC Certificate, can help make these properties more mortgagable.

Cornish units

Cornish units are the most common form of concrete construction. Perhaps unsurprisingly, they are mostly found in Cornwall and were built to house returning soldiers from the Second World War. Lenders often want these types of properties to have been refurbished under an approved scheme to extend a mortgage.

Woolaway construction units

At the end of the Second World War, Woolaway built different types of houses such as bungalows, terraced homes and semi-detached houses. They used concrete frames and panels to speed up the construction process. Lenders will likely want a PRC certificate of completion which proves that it’s been renovated.

Reema construction

These concrete homes were erected using PRC panels. They were popular with local councils in the 1940s who wanted to quickly build homes to meet demand. Due to their age, they are likely to need renovation work to make them eligible for a mortgage. However, there are Reema properties from the 1960s which may not need refurbishment for a loan.

Hawksley construction

These homes look like a traditional brick house. They have bricks as an outer layer, but are actually built with PRC beams. Lenders are usually happy to accept a Hawksley construction build if it has been part of a PRC homes repair scheme.

Other concrete construction types

There are also a few lesser known concrete construction properties that include:

  • Airey house constructions
  • Unity PRC home
  • Dorran construction
  • Orlit PRC
  • Whitson Fairhurst PRC homes
  • Wates Group PRC builds

Generally speaking, many types of concrete construction property can be made more mortgageable with repair and reinforcement work. This includes structural improvements, the removal of concrete pillars, blocks and support beams, and works to improve the property’s insulation. In some cases, the addition of a brick ‘skin’ may be recommended to increase the visual appeal of the building and allay lenders’ concerns about resale value.

Given the number of variations that concrete homes come in, speaking to a broker that we work with can be useful when applying for a mortgage. They’ll know which lenders accept which construction type thanks to their depth of market knowledge.

Can you get a mortgage on a concrete ex-council property?

Yes, though it can be trickier. When combined with being a concrete construction, the options of lenders diminishes for ex-council property mortgages.

It’s worth taking into account a number of factors which may affect your application:

  • Leasehold vs freehold – The majority of ex-council properties will be leasehold. A lease with a short amount of time left on it will be a red flag for some lenders.
  • High rise apartment blocks – Many ex-council properties are in high rise buildings. However, lenders sometimes do not want to lend on properties above a certain floor in an apartment block.
  • Property layout – The design of a property can have ramifications on your application being approved. Ex-council properties sometimes have a layout which lenders view as having added elements of risk – for example if it is very small or if the kitchen is in the living room.

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How a broker can help with a mortgage on a concrete home

While it can be more difficult to get a mortgage for a concrete property, it is not impossible. One of the best ways you can help your application is to use a broker with specialist knowledge of this niche part of the market.

The experts we work with can be invaluable as they will already know which providers are most likely to accept your application. They’ll take into account the property’s construction in addition to other factors that affect your eligibility.

Call us on 0808 189 2301 or make an enquiry online and we’ll arrange a free, no-obligation consultation between you and an expert mortgage advisor today.

Which lenders will accept these types of properties?

While there are less lenders happy to accept applications on these types of properties, there are still a number to choose from, including some familiar names. NatWest, TSB, Halifax, Barclays and Nationwide have all been known to offer loans on concrete construction homes.

For examples of some of the best interest rates currently available, take a look at our table below.

Lender Product Details
Frosted Rates Image

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Last updated May 2024

The rates quoted above were correct at the time of writing and are subject to change at any time at the lender’s discretion. Speaking to a mortgage broker is the best way to keep track of the rates available at any given time. 

Specific eligibility criteria

To increase the chances of your application being approved, you need to consider other factors that could have an impact. They are:

  • Adjoining properties – For a home to be acceptable for a mortgage, it will usually have had to be structurally repaired under an approved scheme. However, if the property is semi-detached or forms part of a terrace, then most lenders also require the adjoining properties to have had structural defects rectified under an approved scheme too.
  • Property height – PRC properties of more than 2 stories in height are not usually considered acceptable to some lenders whether repaired or not.
  • Property type –  Some lenders will have particular types of property that they accept and some they don’t. For example, Santander, Halifax and Scottish Widows consider houses and bungalows but not flats or maisonettes.

In addition to these concrete construction specific criteria, there are other standard requirements from lenders:

  • Age – Lenders have parameters on the ages they can or will extend to. The minimum age is 21 in the UK, but the maximum age can vary. Some will go to 70, but others will go higher – perhaps even to 80 years old.
  • Credit history – Lenders consider any bad credit history issues in your past, and when they occurred before determining the risk of lending to you.
  • Income type – Some lenders have specific forms of income that they accept. You may find some lenders will not take any bonuses or commissions into consideration when calculating your final loan amount, while others will happily accept it. Lenders usually use an income multiplier of 4.5-5 times your annual income to calculate your mortgage amount, so if they do accept bonuses and commissions you’ll be able to borrow far more.
  • Deposit and LTV ratio – Lenders will typically look far more favourable on an application with a larger deposit which makes the loan-to-value ratio better. It decreases the risk for them, so you may find more lenders are happy to extend to you.

Speak to a broker who specialises in concrete construction properties

While lenders definitely do extend mortgages for concrete construction properties, there may not be as many happy to do so as with standard construction homes. Using a broker is exceptionally useful as a result – not only will they be able to identify the providers that are options, they’ll identify the ones that offer you the best terms.

The brokers we work with will weigh up other parts of your financial situation to ensure they help you secure a mortgage with the lowest rate possible, reducing your monthly repayments and making your mortgage cheaper overall.

Our free, no obligation broker matching service can put you in touch with a mortgage advisor that specialises in these types of properties. Call us on 080 189 2301 or make an enquiry so we can arrange someone to contact you today.

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FAQs

Concrete homes do not pose any health risks per se – but if the structure of the building is not sound, it is advisable to make any necessary renovations as soon as possible.

Experts differ on how long they believe concrete homes will last. However, on average, it is thought that a well designed, well constructed concrete home can last anything from 50 to 100 years – as long as it is well maintained and cared for.

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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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