Mortgage lenders soothe fears over new build issues

Mortgage lenders soothe fears over new build issues

Lenders and mortgage brokers have moved to calm fears about borrowing against new build properties after one of the country's largest homebuilders, Bovis, was forced to set aside £10m to deal with shoddy workmanship claims. 

Those who bought homes built by Bovis currently at the centre of concerns over their quality are not likely to find their ability to get a mortgage affected, on the understanding the developer puts things right, sector experts told FTAdviser.

Bovis has faced a host of complaints from homeowners about the quality of its houses and has set aside £10.5m to address these issues, with reports of plumbing and electrical faults.

It is the latest blow for the new build sector which has faced criticism for shoddy properties, and comes after FTAdviser reported lenders were ordering extra checks from surveyors on cladding following the Grenfell Tower blaze, which was in part blamed on the decision to use cheaper materials on the outside of the building.

Sebastian Murphy, head of mortgage finance at JLM Mortgage Services, said: "Understandably, we did have issues last year with flats, their quality and safety, particularly after the Grenfell disaster – this continues to be an issue.

"With regards to Bovis, or any other large developer, we haven't seen any specific issues as normally these defects are picked up the National House Building Council inspectors.

"From our perspective, as a network, we haven't experienced any clients with issues around the quality of new-build properties, and our view is that as long as there is a new-build guarantee in place, buyers should have peace of mind as theses bodies are usually very quick to rectify problems."

The NHBC is the UK's largest provider of new home warranties, with 80 per cent of new homes built in the UK each year having a 10-year warranty from it, and is the UK's largest single approved inspector for building regulations.

David Hollingworth, associate director at L&C, said: "New build properties do come with guarantees and snagging with any new build may be necessary to deal with issues that subsequently arise. 

"Remedial work to poor finishing or low quality workmanship is something that a builder is likely to have to address in the first place because they simply aren’t selling as well as they could."

But he admitted that kind of customer dissatisfaction "is likely to be a different kettle of fish to a situation where there is a fault recognised in a development or design that would result in valuations recommending that the whole site is not fit for mortgage purposes".

FTAdviser contacted the largest five lenders to establish their position with respect to a property that faced these issues - including Santander, Lloyds, Barclays, HSBC and Nationwide, with only the first two of these responding.

A spokesman for Santander said: "We want to support UK borrowers secure the right mortgage on their desired property and as an industry we have policies and regulation in place to ensure processes are followed.