The majority of New Build homes are constructed using traditional, tried and tested methods, for example cavity brick/block and timber frame. High rise flats are usually constructed using concrete, steel frames and different forms of roof cladding (as opposed to the more standard tile and slate). All these methods are acceptable to Nationwide.
Modern Methods of Construction
An increasing number of homes in the UK are being built using innovative materials and methods such as factory manufactured “pods”, steel and timber frames, roof and floor “cassettes”, 3D printing and changes to on-site processes (including the use of robotics). These products and processes are referred to as Modern Methods of Construction (MMC). Many properties built using MMCs are acceptable to Nationwide, subject to our criteria. Our valuers will assess these on a case by case basis. We need to be sure that new methods of construction are sufficiently durable, easily maintained and will remain readily saleable in order to protect our members.
Where a property is known to incorporate MMCs, you can check our New Build site list to see if the site has already been assessed. Or contact the New Build support team with as much information as possible, ideally including:
- Name/type of system and details of the developer
- Warranty and whether it has Buildoffsite Property Assurance Scheme (BOPAS) accreditation
- Details of roof and cladding materials and confirmation of 30 year design life for those elements.
Office to residential
At Nationwide, we recognise that office to residential conversions are important to the new housing market. We'll consider them subject to certain criteria, such as design (appearance/internal layout/planning etc), tenure and lifespan. Other considerations we take in account when dealing with office to residential are:
- A suitable mix of residential use within the area
- Sufficient residential infrastructure within the immediate area, for example, access to amenities/shops/schools/transport
- Sustainable demand in a re-sale market place for home ownership
- Any property forming part of a business/commercial/industrial/retail area aren't usually accepted.
- A suitable and acceptable warranty is required – see our acceptable building warranties for more information.
- See our minimum leasehold terms and ground rent on our New Build hub page.
Quality of conversion
- Structural integrity
- The external appearance of the structure, and whether it's been updated or modified to give the appearance of a residential building.
- Fire safety and regulations should be complied with, particularly around the use of certain external cladding/insulation materials on high rise buildings, see below.
There are guidelines for cladding on buildings more than six storeys or higher than 18 metres. This aims to ensure residents of high-rise buildings are safe.
We need certification from a fully qualified professional that the cladding meets the requirements of the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) Advice Note 14. The certification must be dated, on headed paper, include the professionals' qualifications and confirm that the buildings' cladding has been physically inspected. If the certification isn't available at the time of valuation, the property will be declined, pending receipt of this confirmation.
To help prevent the risk of fire, there are guidelines put in place to ensure that buildings with balconies don't contain combustible materials. Balconies must meet the requirements of the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) Advice Note 21 for us to be able to lend on the property.
At the time of the valuation, the balcony will be checked and if it's found to include any combustible materials, the mortgage will be declined pending receipt of detailed proposals and costings of replacing these materials.
Our site list shows sites that have reached their exposure limit and are closed to Nationwide lending.View our site list
New Build criteria
View our New Build lending criteria before you submit a case.View our New Build criteria
Dedicated support teams
We’ve got dedicated support teams on hand to answer your New Build queries.See how we support you