Updated: April 01, 2022

New Build Mortgages

Looking for a new build mortgage? Trying to find a 90% LTV one? It can be done! Find out who the main lenders are & exactly what you need to do in our guide.

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Pete Mugleston

Author: Pete Mugleston - Mortgage Expert

Updated: April 01, 2022

New build homes can be an appealing choice for many buyers, but securing a mortgage on them can sometimes be tricky – particularly if the property hasn’t been built yet – so it’s vital to have the right knowledge and support on your side.

This guide will tell you everything you need to know about new build mortgages, how to get one, how the right broker can make all the difference and much more.

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What is classed as a new build property?

Any property that’s newly built and hasn’t been sold before can meet the definition of “new build”. This extends to properties that have been substantially renovated or converted, and can sometimes include those that haven’t been built yet and are classed as “off plan”.

Note that some lenders class new build properties as those that have been built in the last 12 months, but others extend this to two years, provided it hasn’t previously been sold. It’s also important to point out that new build mortgages aren’t the same as mortgages to build your own home; these are self-build mortgages and as such are very different products.

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Is it harder to get a mortgage for a new build?

It’s certainly possible to get a mortgage on a new build property, but that doesn’t mean it’s always straightforward. A key reason for that is the difficulty in valuing it – buyers can often pay a premium for buying brand new which means the value of the property can drop substantially when it’s sold on, and lenders view this as a risky prospect.

As a result, new build mortgages tend to come with stricter lending criteria, and often higher rates as well. Seeking professional advice is always recommended to make sure you get the best possible outcome.

Eligibility criteria and deposit requirements

Much like with mortgages for existing properties, eligibility criteria is largely based on your affordability profile (including your income, outgoings and credit score), employment status, how much you’ve saved as a deposit and the property value; you can get a rough idea of the amount you’ll be able to borrow through a mortgage calculator.

Typically speaking, lenders expect you to have a bigger deposit when buying a new build property to account for the additional level of risk they’re taking on. You’re likely to be asked for at least a 15% deposit when buying a new build house and 25% for a flat, with maximum loan-to-values (LTVs) normally around 85% and 75% respectively.

Although there are exceptions. Some lenders are able to offer new build mortgages at 90% LTV and above, while those seeking first-time buyer new build mortgages may be able to benefit from additional support.

Support schemes to buy new

If you want to buy new but can’t come up with a big enough deposit, you may be able to take advantage of schemes such as Help to Buy: Equity Loan and Deposit Unlock.

Help to Buy: Equity Loan

This scheme allows you to buy a home with a deposit of just 5%, with a government equity loan of up to 20% of the property’s value. You’ll then need to secure a mortgage of 75% through one of the many providers participating in the scheme. Help to Buy is exclusively available to first-time buyers, and there are regional price caps to be aware of.

Deposit Unlock

This allows borrowers to purchase a new build home at up to 95% LTV, with the house builder paying to insure the mortgage. This means they take on part of the risk, rather than the lender, and means you can secure a new build property with just a 5% deposit.

There are several homebuilders that offer properties under the Deposit Unlock scheme, including Persimmon and Taylor Wimpey, though mortgages to accommodate are currently only offered by two providers – Nationwide and Newcastle Building Society.

How a broker can help

Given that new build mortgages can be harder to come by than mortgages for an existing property, getting expert advice can make all the difference. There are two key ways that a broker will be able to help:

  1. They can help you source the best mortgage deal for you

There are huge variations in terms of what each lender is able to offer and the criteria they’ll expect you to meet, but a broker who specialises in new build mortgages will know exactly who you should approach based on your own unique circumstances. Crucially, they’ll know those lenders who have longer validity periods, and will be able to help you secure alternatives if things don’t go to plan.

They can use their experience and contacts in the sector to source you the perfect mortgage and can negotiate the lowest rates possible, and they can be particularly helpful if you need to source a new build mortgage at 90% LTV or above. These mortgages are only available with certain lenders and often only via government schemes, and a broker will be able to help you determine if you’re eligible for them.

2. They can help you navigate the application process.

The application process itself will be broadly similar for new build mortgages as for mortgages on existing properties, though you may need to provide additional documentation – such as building warranties and evidence of estimated completion dates – and may find the timescales difficult to navigate. Things can get trickier still if you’re buying off-plan, if you’re applying for a first-time buyer new build mortgage or if construction overruns.

In any of these situations and more besides, having a specialist broker on your side can be invaluable. They’ll walk you through the entire process from start to finish and will be on-hand to help with any queries or difficulties you may be experiencing, and will even be able to liaise with the lender on your behalf.

Which lenders offer new build mortgages?

Luckily the vast majority of lenders are able to offer new build mortgages, albeit with stricter lending criteria and lower LTVs. You’ll have fewer options if you’re looking for new build mortgages at 90% LTV or above as most mainstream lenders won’t stretch to this level, though specialist lenders may be able to accommodate.

Bear in mind too that fewer lenders are able to offer mortgages if you’re buying off-plan, in which case your options will be more limited. It’s always best to speak to a broker to find out who best to approach, as if you go it alone you risk at best wasting time and money, but at worst rejection and a black mark on your credit score.

Other things to consider when buying a new property

There are several unique aspects to buying a new build property that you’ll need to be aware of, with all of the following areas being the most important.

Warranties

All new homes should be protected by a warranty, which usually lasts for 10 years and is most commonly provided through the National House Building Council’s (NHBC’s) Buildmark. Most lenders will need to see evidence of this before the mortgage will be approved.

Some lenders will accept other warranties besides the NHBC Buildmark, such as the Checkmate New Home Warranty, Build Assure 10 Warranty, or LABC Warranty, though this will vary depending on the lender.

Disclosure of Incentives Form

You’ll need to provide various additional documentation for a new build mortgage, including a Disclosure of Incentives Form. This will be filled out by the builder/seller and lists all incentives (both financial and non-financial) that are offered to buyers, and is used to help determine the true value of the property.

Mortgage validity periods

Once your mortgage has been approved, you’ll get a mortgage offer which will typically last for around six months. However, this may not be sufficient for new build homes, and so lenders will sometimes be able to extend the offer period to nine or even 12 months to account for the fact that builds don’t always complete on time.

Buying off-plan

If the property you’re hoping to buy hasn’t been built yet, you may find it more difficult to source a suitable mortgage, and you’ll likely need to jump through a few more hoops as well. For example:

  • Many lenders will expect the build to be nearing completion and/or will require a second valuation once the property is finished.
  • You’ll often be expected to provide any planning and warranty/professional certificates in advance.
  • LTV limits may be lower.
  • Mortgage validity periods can’t always be extended.

That said, it’s certainly not impossible to find a mortgage when buying off-plan, it could just mean you’ll need a bit of extra support.

Get matched with a new build mortgage advisor

Seeking this kind of mortgage will always be simpler with expert advice on your side, and that’s where we come in. Our free broker matching service will connect you with an advisor who specialises in new build mortgages – just tell us a few details and we’ll do the rest, scouring our network of brokers to find the one who’s best placed to source the finance you need.

Call us on 0808 189 0463 for a no-obligation chat or make an enquiry and we can put you in touch with the expert to help.

FAQs

When do I start paying a mortgage on a new build?

Your mortgage won’t complete until the property is built and you’re able to move in, and your first mortgage payment will typically be a couple of weeks after that.

Can I get a mortgage on a new build of non-standard construction?

Yes, though bear in mind that construction type can have an impact on any mortgage application, and new builds are no exception. If your new home doesn’t fit into the standard mould – perhaps it’s timber-framed or ultra eco-friendly – your mortgage options will already be limited, so you’ll need to find a lender who can accommodate both mortgages of non-standard construction and new builds.

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We know everyone's circumstances are different, that's why we work with mortgage brokers who are experts in all different mortgage subjects. Ask us a question and we'll get the best expert to help.

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Pete Mugleston

Pete Mugleston

Mortgage Expert

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!

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 that 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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