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Refusal to lend on new construction is ‘vicious circle’

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  • 12/02/2015
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Refusal to lend on new construction is ‘vicious circle’
Lenders’ conservative attitudes towards supplying mortgages on new and unconventional properties is creating a “vicious circle”, according to e.surv director of business development Richard Sexton.

He said that many institutions were “nervous” about lending on alternative property types which created problems for developers who were under government pressure to build more eco-friendly homes.

Earlier this week the first ‘straw homes’ became available on the market in Bristol, which promise to slash heating bills by 90%. The houses, built using timber frames which enclose prefabricated straw insulation, will cost less than the average Bristol house to buy.

The Ecology Building Society has announced it will consider mortgages on homes built using the prefabricated straw bale system by Modcell.

Sexton (pictured) explained lenders were anxious to provide mortgages on such properties due to a wave of unconventional housing built in the 1960s which is now largely unsustainable.

“Most lenders are pretty conservative regarding the property they will lend on and are generally nervous about any new form of construction,” he said.

“If another lender decides to offer borrowers loans on these types of properties it starts to give other lenders comfort, so there’s a lot of inertia to overcome – it’s a vicious circle.”

He added: “Developers are under pressure to build greener houses from the government but the issue is it costs more to build these types of homes, but so far there is not a lot of evidence that the consumer will pay more.

“In my view, to use an analogy, it will become a bit like drink-driving where it will eventually be socially unacceptable to have energy inefficient homes, but it might be that we need a generational shift for it to make a difference,” Sexton concluded.

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