We specialise in mortgages for self-build projects, which are also sometimes known as building mortgages, that meet specific energy ratings or help promote sustainable living. We welcome non standard construction types such as timber framed and provide mortgages for new builds in the UK.
- Our current Standard Variable Rate is 4.65%
A mortgage of £95,300 payable over 25 years on our Standard Variable Rate, currently 4.65%, would require 300 monthly payments of £537.85.
The total amount payable would be £161,895 made up of the loan amount plus interest (£66,055) and a mortgage application fee of £300 and a valuation fee of £240 (assuming a purchase price of £200,000).
The overall cost for comparison is 4.80% APRC representative
- We’ll consider lending up to four times joint or sole income subject to loan to value and an affordability assessment
- Energy efficient homes are rewarded with discounts off our Standard Variable Rate - see details below of how our C-Change sustainable homes discounts work
- Mortgages are available on a repayment, interest-only or part (repayment) and part (interest-only) basis, subject to eligibility
- Interest-only and part interest-only mortgages are subject to an acceptable repayment vehicle
- You can borrow up to 80% of the property’s value or purchase price (whichever is the lower) on a repayment basis, or up to 75% interest-only or part (repayment) and part (interest-only)
- An early repayment charge may be payable if you repay all or part of your mortgage within the first two years
- A non-refundable mortgage application fee of £300 is payable in addition to a mortgage valuation fee
- A maximum mortgage term of 30 years is available (subject to eligibility).
We need detailed planning permission before the mortgage is released and at least outline planning permission to start the application process.
What we lend on
We are experts in providing mortgages for self-build/new build projects. We consider unusual, traditional and modern methods of construction and don't have a 'tick box' approach to assessing projects –in many instances, we'll welcome projects that standard lenders may not accept.
We will consider:
- Live/work units
- Timber frame/clad or steel frame
- Earth sheltered dwellings
- Non-traditional constructions, such as straw bale, thatch, rammed earth, and wattle and daub
- Structured insulated panels
- Insulated concrete forms.
Our mortgages are available in the UK (England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland).
Our approach to lending during your build
- Our Standard Variable Rate applies during your build and we release funds when valuations show your self-build has increased in value
- When your build is complete, our discounts are applied from the date we receive evidence that the work has been completed and the energy rating required has been achieved.
Our standard of service
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has laid down detailed rules about the service we must offer on regulated residential mortgages. Under these rules, we will provide you with advice and recommendation on which of the Society's products is most suitable for you, based on your needs, preferences and affordability.
Jenny’s story: A simple and light urban Passivhaus
Project type: Self-build
In her mind’s eye, Jenny wanted a self-built home that was simple and beautiful, plain but not austere, with high ceilings and flooded with light from every direction. She also wanted to create a low-energy and low-tech build, constructed from sustainable, locally sourced materials. With the support of an Ecology mortgage, Jenny achieved this ...ReadSee all projects
Nina and Phil’s story: Big love for a smallholding
Project type: Woodlands
Frustrated by the ethos and stresses of many modern businesses, Nina and Phil wanted to do things differently. Their dream of running a sustainable, low-impact smallholding began in 2007. After viewing several parcels of land, the couple identified an inspiring fifteen-acre plot high above the town of Silsden in West Yorkshire. Approaching ...ReadSee all projects
Rob and Karin’s story: The first certified Passivhaus Plus in the UK
Project type: Self-build
Rob and Karin set out to build a comfortable family home that would improve their quality of life as well as reduce their carbon footprint. They chose the Passivhaus Plus standard for their build, which combines the Passivhaus approach to minimising energy requirements with on-site renewable energy generation. This means that the building ...ReadSee all projects
Irene and David’s story: Converting to Passivhaus
Project type: Conversion
After living happily in a Victorian house on the outskirts of Ripon, North Yorkshire, for 20 years, Irene and David were ready for a change. They wanted a home that was less costly to heat and maintain, in a location that would reduce their reliance on car travel. This is exactly what they achieved. Their new house is an energy-efficient converted ...ReadSee all projects
Ecology Building Society was rated as an ethical Best Buy for our mortgages and savings accounts by Ethical Consumer magazine in its product guide rankings (May/June 2018 issue).
As a building society with a unique mission to build a greener society, we lend on projects and properties that support our aims through their reduced impact on our environment. Making your home energy efficient is a major way you can support tackling climate change – while saving on your energy bills.
We reward borrowers whose properties are energy efficient (therefore have lower carbon emissions) with our C-Change discounts off our Standard Variable Rate which helps them save money on their mortgage. We call our discounts ‘C-Change discounts’ simply because we’re aiming to make a ‘sea-change’ of difference to our climate with each property or project we fund.
The level of our C-Change sustainable homes or C-Change retrofit discount that applies is based on the Energy Standard rating achieved on the self-build, renovation or conversion when the work is completed. Our C-Change energy improvements discount is based on the qualifying energy measures being installed. The discount is applied from the date we receive evidence that the work has been completed and if applicable the Energy Standard rating required has been achieved.
For us to apply the C-Change sustainable homes discount, once your build is complete you need to provide an Energy Standard certificate and Architect or Building Control certificate.
The C-Change sustainable homes discount is only applied to our Standard Variable Rate from the date we receive evidence that the work has been completed and the Energy Standard rating required has been achieved.
How we work out your Variable Mortgage Rate:
Standard Variable Rate (SVR) minus C-Change sustainable homes discount = Variable Mortgage Rate
Our C-Change sustainable homes discount applies to new and existing energy efficient homes and extensive retrofits using the Passivhaus EnerPHit methodology. Once your build is complete, you need to provide an Energy Standard certificate and Architect/Building Control certificate for us to apply the Sustainable C-Change discount. The discount is applied from the date we receive all the required documentation and is based on the Energy Standard rating the property achieves.
|Energy Standard||Ratings||SVR (Standard Variable Rate)||Discount %||Variable Mortgage Rate|
|Passivhaus||Passivhaus||4.65%||1.25%||3.40%. The overall cost for comparison is 4.80% APRC|
|4.65%||1.25%||3.40%. The overall cost for comparison is 4.80% APRC|
|Passivhaus||EnerPHit (PHPP modelled)||4.65%||0.75%||3.90%. The overall cost for comparison is 4.80% APRC|
|Energy Performance Certificate (EPC)||A or above||4.65%||0.75%||3.90%. The overall cost for comparison is 4.80% APRC|
|Energy Performance Certificate (EPC)||B (SAP rating 85+)||4.65%||0.50%||4.15%. The overall cost for comparison is 4.80% APRC|
|Association for Environment Conscious Building (AECB)||Silver||4.65%||0.75%||3.90%. The overall cost for comparison is 4.80% APRC|
|Association for Environment Conscious Building (AECB)||Gold||4.65%||1.25%||3.40%. The overall cost for comparison is 4.80% APRC|
Residential mortgage valuation fees
|Value of property not exceeding||Fee|
|Up to each £50,000 thereafter add||£30|
Please note these valuation fees apply to residential and buy-to-let applications and include VAT.
In all other instances, the fee required will be determined on a case-by-case basis and depends on the nature of the property.
A more detailed inspection, such as a Homebuyers Report can often be provided by the same valuer at a fee to be negotiated. Please advise on this point when submitting your application.
A non-refundable mortgage application fee of £300 is payable in addition to a mortgage valuation fee.
Early repayment charge
An early repayment charge may be payable if you repay all or part of your mortgage within the first two years.
Our services, fees, tariffs and charges
The Society reserves the right to amend existing services and charges, or to introduce new ones.
Any change to charges will only reflect the increased operational costs of providing the service. You will always be notified before any changes are implemented.
For further details and tariff information please see Our rates and charges leaflet.
Do I need to provide planning permission for my self-build?
Yes. We need at least outline planning permission to start the application process and detailed planning permission before the mortgage is released.
What information do I need to progress a mortgage application?
You’ll need to have a specific plot and build in mind which needs to be supported by detailed plans, including a breakdown of material and labour costs and an indication of the energy standard you are building to.
What deposit do I need for my self-build?
You need a 20% minimum deposit to buy the land and a further 15% – 20% of total build costs to start your build.
Do I still need a deposit for my self-build if I already own the land and have planning permission?
No, you don’t always need a deposit; we can lend based on the value of your land to start the build, providing you already own the land and it’s mortgage-free. Also, if you need us to, we can help you repay any outstanding finance on the land.
Do you lend on buying the plot/land only?
We don’t just lend on a plot/land purchase. Any project we support needs to show planning details of the proposed build with an indication of the energy standard you are building to, and how the build costs are expected to be funded with savings and mortgage finance.
How long do I have to complete the build?
Subject to planning constraints, we allow a maximum of 2 years for you to complete the self-build, although we encourage you to complete earlier to benefit from our C-Change sustainable homes discount which is applied to our Standard Variable Rate from the date we receive evidence that both the work has been completed and the Energy Standard rating required has been achieved.
Do you offer stage payments for a self-build?
Yes, although the Ecology self-build mortgage does not release payments at set construction milestone stages (e.g. foundation, wall plate etc.). We release funds as and when the build progresses and release up to a percentage of the increased value of the property.
Can I have interest-only during the build phase?
We offer an interest-only mortgage only when you have a qualifying repayment vehicle to support this for example an established ISA, endowment policies or Pension Plan.
Does Ecology require a particular build warranty on completion of my self-build?
A build warranty is not a mandatory lending requirement of our mortgage and we are happy with a Building Regulation Completion Certificate. However, if you wish to take out a build warranty for the completion of the property then this is acceptable to the Society.
Does the self-build property have to be my main residence?
Yes, although we do offer a buy to let mortgage. Please bear in mind that the property can’t be a second or holiday home or classed as mobile planning.
Do you do mortgages for property renovations or conversions that are eco-friendly?