Updated: February 25, 2022

Getting a Mortgage on a Property Under 30 Square Metres

Looking for a studio flat mortgage? It doesn't necessarily matter if it's less than 30 square metres! Find out exactly what to do next in our expert guide.

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Pete Mugleston

Author: Pete Mugleston - Mortgage Expert

Updated: February 25, 2022

Smaller spaces – often called ‘micro homes’ – are designed for compact living. They are one of the most affordable types of home, and popular with first-time buyers, students and young people looking to get onto the property ladder.

Getting a mortgage on this type of property can be tricky, especially when it comes to studio flats. But it’s by no means impossible. In this guide we’ll explain what you need to bear in mind if you’re hoping to get a mortgage for a home that’s under 30 square metres – and how to go about finding a lender who can help.

Can you get a mortgage on a property under 30 square metres?

You absolutely can! Some estate agents will tell you that it’s not possible to sell or mortgage any property below this size, but there are lenders out there who will consider it. Size isn’t all that matters: lenders will also take into account other factors about the property and your own financial circumstances.

Studio flats

Studio flats are probably the most common type of property under 30 square metres. Because the number of lenders offering studio flat mortgages is already limited (see below), you should watch out for features that might make the flat a less attractive prospect.

For example:

  • Studios without a separate kitchen area
  • Studios where the entrance is adjacent to an outdoor walkway
  • Neighbouring commercial properties, for example if the studio is above a shop or takeaway
  • Properties in blocks that are more than seven storeys high
  • Blocks built from non-standard material such as concrete
  • Properties with less time left on the lease. The shorter the lease, the higher the risk to lenders, as properties with shorter leases tend to be harder to sell.

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What to do if a lender declines your application

If a mortgage lender has declined your mortgage application for a property that measures in at under 30 square metres, here are the steps to follow to get your plans back on track…

  1. Resist the temptation to re-apply so soon: Unless you’ve rectified the issue that caused you to be declined the first time, there’s no guarantee the outcome will be any different the next time around; and being rejected again so soon could harm your credit report and set your plans back even further.
  2. Find a broker who specialises in this property type: This is the best thing you can do to boost your chances of salvaging your application. There are lenders who specialise in securing finance for studio flats, and they have the knowledge and expertise to help you revive your plans, whether that’s through renegotiation with the lender who declined you or a fresh application with a lender who is better equipped to offer mortgages on non-standard properties.
  3. Let your broker take things from here: From this point on, you can take a breather while your broker carries out a quick fact-find to establish why you were rejected for a mortgage and start working on a solution. Perhaps there are works that can be carried out on the property to make it mortgageable, or a more flexible lender they work with who might approve you?

Make an enquiry to get started with your ideal broker and find out how they could help you.

Why lenders are limited for this property type

So why is your choice of lender so limited for properties of this type? It’s all about the return on the lender’s investment. The mortgage lender wants to be sure that they’ll be able to re-sell the property in the unfortunate event that they have to repossess it from you. And if you rent out the property (see FAQs below), they want to be sure that you’ll be able to charge enough rent to keep up with the mortgage repayments.

That’s why many lenders have a minimum studio flat size for a mortgage. This varies depending on the lender: while a minimum size of 35 or 30 square metres is common, some draw the line at 50 square metres. In fact, some mortgage lenders prefer to avoid studio flats altogether.

But some mortgage providers are prepared to listen to valuers’ recommendations for a wider range of properties. So depending on the specific property, there may be a lender out there who can help – and with the right broker, you can find them.

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What type of mortgages do they offer?

Both residential mortgages and buy-to-let investment mortgages are available for studio flats, depending on the configuration and condition of the studio. One thing to keep in mind, though, is that the rates can be higher on these mortgages to offset the risk the lender is taking on.

That doesn’t mean that securing a favourable deal is impossible. You just need to know where to look…. and that’s where a mortgage broker comes in.

How a broker can help

A mortgage broker can provide bespoke, expert mortgage advice to help you get the best rate from the right lenders.

This is especially important with more unusual properties like studio flats under 30 square metres. Getting rejected could impact your credit report and jeopardise your chances of getting a mortgage in the future. An expert broker will know exactly which lenders are best placed to offer finance for this property type, and which ones will look more favourably on your application – so they can help avoid unnecessary marks on your credit report by matching you with the right lender, first time.

What’s more, many of the mortgage advisers we work with operate on a success-only model and will refund any upfront fees if they can’t get you a mortgage. The initial consultation is free, with no obligation to go any further.

Eligibility criteria and deposit requirements

Your eligibility for a mortgage will depend both on the details of the property – see above – and your own financial circumstances.

Prospective lenders might deem the property a ‘non-standard’ construction, in which case you will most likely need a higher than usual deposit. The maximum loan to value (LTV) ratio available from most lenders on non-standard construction buildings is capped at around 75% – meaning you’d need at least a 25% deposit. Offering a larger deposit can mean more attractive interest rates and a wider range of potential lenders.

Affordability might also be an issue. Where you might typically expect to be able to get a mortgage of 4.5 times your salary – perhaps as much as six times your salary from some lenders – you might need a higher relative salary for a riskier property such as those under 30 square metres as some lenders will cap their income multiples.

Besides that, the usual mortgage eligibility criteria will apply:

  • Employment status: You might need specialist advice if you’re self-employed or earn a high percentage of your money from ‘non-standard’ sources, like bonuses or commission.
  • Age on application: Some lenders proceed with caution if the mortgage term stretches into your retirement years.
  • Credit history: Seek specialist advice if you have bad credit. It won’t necessarily mean you can’t get a mortgage, but a mortgage broker might be necessary to get a good deal.

You can read more about general mortgage eligibility in our guide to mortgage applications.

Get the right advice from an expert broker

As you’ve seen, getting a mortgage for a studio flat can be difficult, but isn’t impossible. An experienced broker will give you honest advice about your chances of getting a mortgage on this particular property type. And they will save you a lot of time and stress, as they will already know which lenders look more favourably on applications of this nature.

Finding the right lender starts with finding the right broker. Our adviser-matching service quickly assesses customers’ needs and circumstances and pairs them with a broker who has exactly the right knowledge and expertise they need, in this case a mortgage advisor who is an expert in non-standard property types, with the track record to prove it.

The brokers we match people with are fully vetted and trained by us – we have checked they have the right credentials and track record to get you a mortgage. Get in touch on 0808 189 0463 or make an enquiry to get matched with your ideal broker today.

FAQs

Can I get a buy-to-let mortgage for a studio flat?

The short answer is yes, it’s possible.

There are lenders who will offer buy-to-let (BTL) mortgages for studio flats. But it depends on the details of the property, your own circumstances, and the lender you apply to. You’re likely to need a deposit of at least 15% and the forecast rental income will need to cover the mortgage payments by at least 125%. It will also help your cause if you have landlord experience.

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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 Property Types. 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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