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Concrete House Mortgages - a guide to non standard construction

Securing a mortgage for the home you’ve set your heart on may be difficult if it’s of non-standard construction and built from concrete. 

So you don’t run the risk of rejection by a lender, get some mortgage advice from a Bespoke Mortgage Broker first.  Choose an adviser that has experience in helping clients obtain mortgages for non-standard construction houses to help you. 

What is non-standard construction?

These are properties built differently to traditional construction methods which use bricks and mortar. The types of non-standard construction properties across the housing market are wide and varied.

They can include listed buildings like heritage cottages with thatched roofs, post-war concrete prefabs, and even state-of-the-art homes constructed using steel frames

There are so many different types of property that come under the ‘unusual construction’ banner. That’s why arranging a mortgage for this type of property is best handled by a bespoke Mortgage Broker and a specialist ‘non-standard construction’ mortgage lender.   

Concrete houses in more detail

Concrete was a popular material used to build houses during the 1950s.  Houses constructed using Precast Reinforced Concrete (PRC) were built quickly to meet the growing demand for new and affordable social housing after the Second World War.

Thirty years on, problems such as water penetration and carbon in the concrete began to erode the steel support columns.  However some properties have undergone reinforcement repairs.

Why is it harder to get a mortgage on a non-standard construction house?

The issue with the integrity of non-standard construction properties means lenders are cautious about offering mortgages on them.  In particular, houses constructed using concrete with reinforced steel supports carry more risk. 

Unlike mortgages for standard buildings made from bricks and mortar and tiled roofs, houses of this construction type are not easy to insure.  If you default on your mortgage and the property has to be repossessed, the lender will lose money if the property cannot be resold.

Whether you will get a mortgage on a concrete house will depend on a structural survey, formal valuation, and the amount of deposit you are able to put down.

Types of concrete houses

There were many types of houses designed and constructed using precast concrete and reinforced steel during the late 1940s, ‘50s and ‘60s.  It’s important to know which construction method was used to build the property you want to buy before applying for a mortgage. 

  • Airey house constructions
    These houses were built using concrete columns supported by metal tubes.   
  • Cornish Units
    There are two types of Cornish Units located in and around Cornwall. ‘Type One’ is partially panelled on the ground floor, while the other, ‘Type Two’, has external panels on both floors.
  • Dorran constructions
    Mainly bungalows, these homes were built from precast panels during the 1950s by R.G. Tarran, a Hull construction company.
  • Hawksley constructions
    These properties appear to be constructed using bricks and mortar, however PRC beams hide behind single skin brickwork.  Many are undergoing repair and lenders will accept mortgage applications.
  • Orlit concrete houses
    Orlit homes were quick and cheap to erect and many have been demolished. Those remaining must undergo major repair work before mortgages are granted.
  • Reema Construction homes
    Reema Hollow Panel and Reema Conclad houses built between the 1940s and ‘60s carry less risk. 
  • Unity PRC homes
    As well as having concrete erosion and steel beam issues, these homes have roofs containing asbestos.
  • Wates Group PRC builds
    These houses are considered defective because of problems caused by concrete and steel corrosion.
  • Whitson Fairhurst PRC homes
    This type of property was built in Scotland between 1940 and 1959.
  • Wimpey No-fines
    This is the most common type of post-war PRC home manufactured cheaply on a large scale by the Government’s Ministry of Works.  Although considered the highest risk, some lenders will loan against them.
  • Woolaway Construction builds
    These semi-detached and terraced two-storey houses and detached bungalows are made of concrete frames and panels.

What mortgage options are there for concrete houses?
Mortgage options vary depending on the lender’s criteria for non-standard construction properties.  Be prepared to spend money on a professional survey beforehand and be limited to your choice of lender and options.

If you’re willing to invest in the property, then replacing the panels with standard brick and mortar may increase its value. This will enable you to remortgage at a more favourable interest rate. 

What affects my ability to get a concrete house mortgage?
Mortgage lenders’ main concern is that you will not be able to keep up the repayments on your mortgage and they will have to repossess your home.  For this reason they will expect you to have a:

  • good credit history
  • substantial deposit
  • steady income and not be financially overburdened

How can Bespoke Mortgages help me get a mortgage for a concrete house?

We help clients across the UK secure mortgages for all types of property, including non-standard construction houses built from concrete.

To remove the worry of finding the right lender yourself, we take the time to find out about you and your potential property investment.  We have access to a range of specialist lenders and will advise and guide you every step of the way,

We will help you compile the necessary documents and complete and submit the application on your behalf. We also offer financial advice to protect you, your family and your property.



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