Are you based in the UK and looking to buy a plot of land made up of woodland or forest? Before going ahead with your plans, it’s worth having a solid understanding of how a mortgage for this type of property works, and what goes into the finance calculations.
This guide covers everything you need to know about buying woodland areas with a mortgage. You’ll also find out about what sort of rates to expect, and where to get the expert support you’ll need.
Keep on reading for all the details or click on a link below to jump straight to a section…
Can you get a mortgage to buy a woodland?
Yes, this is possible but it will be a slightly different process. There are usually few opportunities to buy forests or woodlands in the UK, so it’s not something most lenders are used to offering mortgages on. For the limited number of niche lenders able to provide finance under these circumstances, your reasons for buying the land will be particularly important.
Due to the unique nature of this type of land, the calculations for the loan will be made up of elements that wouldn’t normally apply. A standard mortgage isn’t your only path to ownership either, some other common strategies for buying woodlands include:
Speak to a Woodland mortgages expert
Maximise your chance of approval with a broker
How finance for buying woodlands is calculated
This will largely be based on the size of the land and what your plans are. Typically, a smaller acreage of woodland, perhaps for conservation purposes, will be cheaper to buy. So this situation would potentially open up more financing options for you.
However, if your goal is to start a business or to build on it, you might need a bigger chunk of land. This could then require an agricultural or commercial mortgage, which involves its own specific pricing for finance and is calculated on a case-by-case basis.
Using a mortgage calculator
Due to these mortgages being bespoke and tailored to your plans, using a standard mortgage calculator for woodlands isn’t going to be much use. You’d likely get a very rough idea of the costs and payments, but the final figures will probably end up being quite different.
There may be loan-to-value (LTV) caps of around 70% in place for some of these mortgages, meaning you’d need a 30% deposit (either based upon the purchase price or current value). How much you can borrow to buy the land will largely depend on the income multiple used by lenders. To show you what this could look like, here’s a few examples scenarios:
|Income Amount||Income Multiple|
|3x salary||4x salary||5x salary|
We're so confident in our service, we guarantee it.
We know it's important for you to have complete confidence in our service, and trust that you're getting the best chance of mortgage approval at the best available rate. We guarantee to get your mortgage approved where others can't - or we'll give you £100*
How to get a mortgage for woodlands or a forest
The exact process will depend on the exact plot of land you’re hoping to buy, and what your goals are. But, there are some universal steps that will help make sure you get the right mortgage and structure the finance in the best way possible:
Step one: gather your personal information and plot details
Like with any mortgage, you’ll need to have all your personal details to hand. This will include photo ID, proof of address, bank statements, and information relating to your income (including whether you’re an employee or self-employed).
It’s also worth putting together details of your plans for the woodland or forest you’re looking to buy. If you have a particular plot in mind, make sure you’ve done some research and have a basic idea about the costs. Or, if you want to set up a business on the land, create a clear business plan that lays out your goals and projections.
Step two: discuss your plans with an expert
Once you’ve got all your relevant pieces of information in one place, the next step is to discuss your options with a skilled advisor. By speaking with an expert broker at this stage, they can assess your plans and then instruct you on any areas needing clarity or improvement.
This means they can make sure you avoid any unnecessary rejections or marks on your credit file by ensuring you deal with the right lenders. Some lenders won’t be willing to offer mortgages for woodlands, and those that do will be particular about what they will accept. Using a specialist broker means speaking with the right lender from day one.
Step three: begin your application
Once your expert mortgage advisor has reviewed your plans and identified the most suitable lender to approach, they will help manage your application, whether it’s residential or commercial finance. The advantage of having an expert in your corner means they can help look after things from start to finish.
So, once your application has been submitted to an appropriate lender, your broker will be able to keep you updated throughout the process. This will make sure that you’re able to concentrate on your upcoming property or business plans for the woodlands whilst they handle the finer details surrounding the mortgage.
Finding a knowledgeable and experienced mortgage broker can be difficult, which is why we offer a free, broker-matching service. The brokers we work with are experts in specialised areas of land ownership like this. Just make an enquiry and we’ll introduce you to one of them for free.
Examples of lenders and interest rates
Typical interest rates for this type of borrowing can be anywhere between 1.5%-2% above the Bank of England base rate. However, your personal circumstances, the specific area of land you’re looking to buy, and how you plan to use the land will all impact the rates and terms available.
Most high-street lenders and banks won’t offer products, but here are some examples of lenders willing to discuss secure land loans and woodland mortgages:
- Ecology Building Society
- Shawbrook Bank
- Norton Finance
The exact mortgage structure you need will be specific to your plans and personal situation. So, if you want to see the full range of available options when buying woodland, your best option is to have a discussion with a specialist broker.
Refinancing a woodland mortgage
Remortgaging onto a better deal with your existing lender can be useful because they should have all the relevant details about the land. If you plan to refinance a woodland or forest you already own, keep in mind that most mortgages will have early repayment fees. So, make sure you check this before you make any changes.
However, it may be the case you want to do something different with the woodland. Or, there are now some new lending options that were not available when you originally took out a loan. An advisor who specialises in woodland mortgages can explain the current state of the market and direct you on whether it’s better to stay put or switch to another lender.
Absolute Fab: I got a mortgage as an ex-bankrupt !!!
As an ex-bankrupt with a qualified Annulment I had to take several bridging loans to cover my debt. I found Online Mortgage Advisor who offered fantastic but specific insight to my issues. Within 6 weeks we exchanged contracts and I am now debt-free, and my house is safe.
They pulled out all the stops
Great staff and good communication. Helped us understand the process and gone over and above to help in a difficult situation. Other companies couldn't even be bothered but Thank you so much!
Anneke Woolley, 12 days ago
Our advisor was amazing from the start!
Aaron went above and beyond. He worked late and kept in contact with me and worked tirelessly to find me the best mortgage he could
James, 10 days ago
Rated 4.8 out of 5 stars across Trustpilot, Feefo and Google
Speak with a woodland mortgage specialist
This particular type of land ownership can be quite complex. Finding correct and reliable mortgage advice is difficult, due to it being such a niche area.
Luckily for you, we offer a free-broker matching service. This means we can quickly assess your needs and the land you’re planning to buy. Then, we’ll pair you up with a specialist broker who has plenty of success securing mortgages for woodlands and forests.
Just call 0808 189 2310 or make an enquiry. We’ll set up a free, no obligation introductory call with your ideal broker today.
Speak to a Woodland mortgages expert
Maximise your chance of approval with a broker
It can be, but it will depend on the piece of land in question and how you plan to generate an investment return from it.
Most of the time you won’t be able to build on woodlands owned with a residential mortgage. But, you are usually allowed to build a small cabin for occasional use, or for the purpose of maintaining the land. However, if you obtain a commercial or agricultural mortgage from a specialist lender, more extensive building is possible.
It will depend on where the land is based. On average, you can expect to pay around £10,000 per acre (0.4 hectares). But, it’s also important to factor in any other additional costs for the purchase such as legal, admin, and financing fees.
Ask us a question
We can help!
We know everyone's circumstances are different, so if you have a specific question about getting a mortgage for woodlands for then get in touch.
Ask us a question and we'll get the best expert to help.
Get in touch today
Make an enquiry and we'll arrange for an experienced mortgage broker we work with to contact you straight away.