Ecology launches game changing mortgages for off-site build projects

We’ve teamed up with leading modular manufacturers to launch a new range of off-site build mortgages to support the growth of modern methods of construction. Our innovative approach enables lending to be secured on the modular panels before they arrive on site, ensuring that finance is available for different types of self-builders.

Ecology is the first UK lender to bring together modular construction manufacturers with a dedicated mortgage solution (including an advanced payment option) making it easier for borrowers to access mortgage finance for this type of self-build.

The new ‘Off-site build’ mortgages enhance our range of green mortgages for self- and custom-build and we hope that this will help encourage and accelerate the construction of the most energy-efficient homes to help meet the UK’s net-zero ambitions.

We have partnered initially with four modular manufacturers to offer the new off-site build mortgages to their customers only. The Society expects to partner with more suppliers in the coming months.

Off-site construction utilises panellised units which are manufactured off-site in a factory and then assembled on-site to create an energy-efficient home.  The modular approach has benefits including significantly quicker construction times, improved and more consistent build quality and a lower carbon footprint by reducing transport emissions, using more sustainable building materials and reducing construction waste.

The decision to introduce the new mortgages comes at a time when the Government is recognising the urgent need to reduce the carbon impact of house building and has stated that new homes must reduce carbon emissions by 75% by 2025. Supporting the role of offsite manufacturing and modern methods of construction to deliver greener homes was a key recommendation in Richard Bacon MP’s independent review of custom and self-build housing[1].

There is a choice of two types of mortgages, an arrears payment option and, for the first time, an advanced payment mortgage, which may be of particular interest to those who require upfront finance to fund the purchase of land and manufacture of the modular panels.

On completion of the works, borrowers will also be eligible for one of the Society’s C-Change mortgages which are designed to incentivise and encourage borrowers to build their home to a better energy-efficiency rating leading to a long-term saving in both energy and borrowing costs.

We hope that the new range of mortgages will improve the supply of finance and help to scale-up modular construction, which is recognised as a key part of the solution to address the housing crisis.

Gareth Griffiths, Ecology’s Chief Executive explained,

“Decarbonising our homes is key to meeting our net-zero ambitions. Now, more than ever, it’s important that lenders play an active role in incentivising green building and helping to reduce energy bills.

“We’ve been leading the way on sustainable mortgages for over 40 years, and we’re really pleased to be working in partnership with off-site manufacturers, who have a track record of delivering sustainable homes. We hope that our new mortgages will help scale-up modern methods of construction to deliver more homes built to higher energy-efficiency standards.

“The introduction of the ‘advanced payment’ mortgage option is an exciting first for Ecology, making energy efficient off-site build homes more accessible for those borrowers who may require up-front funding.

“Our innovative approach, to secure our lending, in advance, on the modular panels while they are in the factory, has the potential to be a game-changer, helping to realise the environmental benefits of off-site construction, which will be critical in the fight against climate change.”

Craig White, Chief Executive, Agile Homes said,

“The time is ripe for the housing industry to consider how we redefine sustainable and affordable living. By adopting modern methods of construction in our panellised build system, made from naturally renewable materials, Agile can produce energy-efficient, carbon-capturing homes with minimal impact on the environment and significantly enhanced quality. The Agile team has the skills, industry experience, and methods to make this happen, on a significant scale, together with Ecology Building Society.”

Alasdair Stephen, Architect and Managing Director, HebHomes said,

“Ecology Building Society is one of the few lenders on the market that recognise the challenges of self-build.  They also understand technology and the building methods and materials that go into producing highly energy-efficient and green modern homes.

 These new mortgage products reflect the changing construction sector with more and more homes manufactured off-site and assembled on-site. HebHomes are delighted to partner with the Ecology Building Society as we know these innovative new mortgages will allow more people to finance and build their dream homes.”

Nick Fulford, Chief Executive of nHouse said,

“People wanting better-built energy efficient homes need a mortgage provider who can make buyers’ dreams become reality. Ecology have actually done something pioneering, genuine and intelligent in launching these new mortgages. Hopefully, others will follow their lead.  Its real change like this that is going to make a difference.”

Kirsty MacKinnon, Managing Director, James MacQueen Builders, R. House Director said,

“Partnering with Ecology Building Society on their exclusive ‘Off-site build’ mortgage is a perfect fit for us at R. House by James MacQueen builders.

“Our prefabricated homes are built in our workshop right here on Isle of Skye and delivered across the Highlands and Scottish Islands.

“As we move toward the development of net-zero homes, we look forward to our partnership with Ecology allowing us to introduce many more environmentally conscious clients to our architecturally design led homes that stand the test of time, and are kind to the environment.”

For more information about Ecology’s Off-site build mortgages click here.


Published: 26 January 2023

Author: Laura Baines