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Mortgage in Northern Ireland

Written By:
Myles Robinson - Expert Finance Advisor

Posted: Jan 8, 2023

Fact Checked By:
David Nicholson - Finance Editor

Can I get a mortgage in Northern Ireland?

There are no restrictions for British citizens buying property in Northern Ireland, as it is part of the United Kingdom. The average term of NI mortgages is between 10 and 25 years.

We’ve already mentioned that there are fewer mortgage providers lending in Northern Ireland than in England or Wales. Also, the ones that do operate there often have postcode restrictions.

This is why it is important to seek the mortgage advice of a broker who works across the entire market, such as the ones we work with.

A mortgage broker can save you time, money and stress.

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How to get a mortgage in Northern Ireland

You can see that there are many mortgage products in Northern Ireland but fewer lenders than in England or Wales. This means that finding the best interest rates can be difficult, mortgage advisers can find the best deals for you.

This is why a broker who works with all markets, such as the ones we use, is the best way to get a Northern Ireland mortgage.

This will ensure that you have access to all the deals you are eligible for. This could save you time, money, and possibly disappointment.

What amount of a mortgage deposit are you required to have in Northern Ireland?

Lenders in Northern Ireland have different deposit requirements depending on how risky the deal is perceived. The general rule is that the higher your deposit, the better your chances are of getting favourable rates. However, most lenders will only approve you with a minimum of 10% deposit of the property’s actual value.

 

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Is it possible to get a Northern Ireland mortgage with a deposit of 5%?

Yes.

  • This scheme provides 95% LTV mortgages across the UK, which includes Northern Ireland. The government will guarantee a portion of the loans, and the high-street lenders will assess the applications.
  • A few lenders have added 95% LTV mortgages to their portfolios since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic. They also made them available in Northern Ireland, outside of the guarantee program. These deals can only be obtained through a mortgage broker.
  • The guarantor mortgage this option could be used by borrowers with a 5% deposit of their own money and a family member willing to help them improve their creditworthiness and eligibility. Learn more about guarantor mortgages.

Can I get a Northern Ireland mortgage at 100%?

Yes. In some rare cases, applying for 100% mortgages without a deposit is possible. However, these deals are typically reserved for those who have a guarantor. You can read more about this in the article.

 

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What stamp duty do I have to pay in NI?

Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) is not required if your Northern Irish property has a value less than £125,000. SDLT will be payable to the Inland Revenue if the mortgaged property in Northern Ireland – or the rest of the UK – is valued at more than £125,000

Calculated as a percentage (lease premium) of the total value of the freehold property or the purchase price for the lease, the percentage you’ll pay is as follows:

  • Properties between £0 and £125,000 – 0%
  • Properties between £125,000 to £250,000: 2%
  • Properties between £250,000 & £925,000 are eligible for a 5% discount
  • 10% off properties between £925,000 & £1,500,000
  • Properties over £1,500,000 eligible for 12%

Our standalone guide will help determine if stamp duty can be added to your mortgage.

Northern Ireland mortgage conditions and criteria

You will find that the maximum amount of borrowing you can get in Northern Ireland is no more than three times your annual gross salary.

Joint mortgages

The Northern Ireland mortgage market is comparable to those seeking a joint loan in other countries. Some mortgage lenders may allow you to borrow a joint mortgage with three applicants, which would be subject to income caps.

A majority of mortgage lenders will lend up to 4.5x joint income. Some will say 5x, while a minority can borrow 6x. There are many lenders offering mortgage options. However, the number of lenders in Northern Ireland is smaller than in England. This means that your choices may be a bit more limited.

You may find additional restrictions on postcode lending in Northern Ireland. This should be considered when searching for locations.

 

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Income and affordability

You will need proof of income if you are applying for a Northern Ireland mortgage. This can be in the form of bank statements or payslips.

Most lenders require at least two to three years of records if you want to apply for a self-employed mortgage.

What are the other criteria for Northern Ireland mortgage lenders?

Other criteria for Northern Ireland mortgages that may be considered include your credit history, work experience, and length of employment.

Are there any age restrictions when I apply for a mortgage in Northern Ireland

Mortgage approvals in Northern Ireland are also based upon age, as for the rest of the UK. Mortgages can be obtained up to the age of 70. However, maximum ages may vary from the lender.

What maximum amount can I borrow to get a Northern Ireland mortgage?

For more information on how a lender calculates this, see the section.

You can also enquire about our expert brokers for precise mortgage advice and the best NI mortgage rates.

How can I get the best interest rate on my mortgage?

Mortgage rates can vary depending on where you live and what your financial situation is. Before choosing a mortgage provider, comparing mortgages in Northern Ireland is important.

For the latest rates and best deals, speak to one of our mortgage brokers. They are experts in the market and have access to every lender. We can also introduce you to them free of charge.

How can I compare mortgages

Enquire with us to have our whole-of-market specialists compare deals for your needs. They will search the market to find the best deals for you and then introduce you to the lender who offers them.

This is a more cost-effective alternative to online rates tables that aren’t tailored for your needs and frequently give prominence to sponsored products. Northern Ireland offers a variety of mortgage options, including…

Fixed-rate mortgages

A fixed-rate mortgage ensures that the interest rate you pay remains the same throughout the term, regardless of changes in general interest rates. This allows you to plan your budget confidently.

Variable rate

Your lender’s reaction to money market interest rate changes will affect how much interest you pay.

Variable rate standard

The standard rate variable (SVR) refers to the average rate of interest that a lender offers on a mortgage. The SVR is often tied to mortgage schemes like discount mortgages.

Special rate

You will receive lower monthly payments for a certain time due to a guaranteed decrease in the standard variable rates.

Capped rate

You pay a fixed interest rate that is not less than the capped rate. However, you still have the option to benefit from a decrease in the standard variable rate.

Tracker rate mortgages

The mortgage interest rate is directly tied to another rate – usually the Bank of England base rate.

Annual interest

Many mortgage lenders charge interest annually in advance. If your monthly payment is substantial, you will need to arrange with your lender to schedule your payment.

The interest is typically recalculated daily until you make your monthly payment. Some products, however, recalculate monthly. Some products calculate interest charges daily.

 

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What types of mortgage products can you find in Northern Ireland?

Many types of mortgages are available for all customer types. For more information, please read on…

Mortgages for sale

To remortgage your property onto a BTL deal, you can use some of the equity to pay the mortgage and purchase your next home.

Northern Ireland offers buy-to-let mortgages. These products are useful when you want to purchase a larger house, relocate for work or when the market isn’t right. A buy-to-let mortgage can allow you to rent your property to sell it later or keep it as an investment.

Mortgages that can be self-certified

These were popular years ago with self-employed people or contractors looking for a mortgage. However, since the 2008 credit crunch, they have been banned in the UK.

Expat mortgages

Expatriate mortgages are available if you are a British citizen working abroad and want to purchase a property in the UK. This type of mortgage has a maximum loan-to-value ratio of 75%.

Flexible mortgages

A flexible mortgage allows you to pay more than the monthly mortgage repayment. This will allow you to pay your mortgage off faster. You can request a reduction in your monthly payments if there is a short-term financial hardship, but this will be at the lender’s discretion.

A flexible mortgage is the best option if you don’t have a fixed income or need greater flexibility in your mortgage arrangements. Flexible mortgage rates in Northern Ireland often include variable interest rates. This means that your monthly payments won’t be fixed.

Lenders may offer all-in-one accounts that allow you to save and borrow money. This allows you to lower your borrowing.

Cash-back mortgages

A cash-back mortgage is when the lender offers you a cash gift for taking out a mortgage. The cash gift is typically payable one month after the loan has been taken out or completed. You may need this cash bonus to decorate or make minor repairs to your property.

Mortgages for buy-to-let

For more information on Northern Ireland’s investment mortgages, please see our guide to buy-to-let mortgages.

Mortgages that you can self-build

Our guide contains all details about self-build mortgages for Northern Ireland.

Construction mortgages that are not standard

Each lender is different, but most won’t accept property that’s non-standard, unique or a listed building. This is usually because they are riskier and less saleable.

Some mortgage providers in Northern Ireland will consider all types of properties. For more information, see our non-standard property section.

Speak with one of our experts to get details about Northern Ireland mortgage lenders.

 

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Can I get a mortgage even if I have bad credit?

If you have a bad credit history or are currently in negative equity, it can be difficult to begin the mortgage search process. Take a look at our information about poor credit mortgages.

Northern Ireland mortgage schemes

Help with buying

The government’s Help to Buy loan program provides financing to potential homeowners who can pay their loan payments but cannot save enough for a deposit. Assistance to purchase mortgages in the NI was closed to new applicants in 2016.

Right to Buy

You may be eligible to purchase your home at a lower price if you are a member of a housing association, council, or NHS tenant and have lived in your home for more than five years. The maximum Right To Buy Discount in Northern Ireland is £24,000.

If you have lived together for a year or more, you can apply with another person who shares your tenancy.

If you decide to sell your property within five years, you’ll have to repay some or all the discount and a portion of any profits.

Shared ownership/co-ownership

A co-ownership or shared mortgage is a government programme to assist lower-income households in obtaining a property. You split the purchase with your local housing organisation. Typically, a co-ownership mortgage lender in NI requires 5% of the property’s value for a deposit.

Buy to Rent Mortgages

Buy to Rent Mortgages are available to people who want to purchase a new-build property but don’t have the funds to do so. They can choose a new build property for up to £165k and rent it for up to three years.

After the three years (or earlier in some cases if they’ve rented for less than 12 months), 20% of their rent is refunded to them. This money can then be used to pay the deposit to buy the property.

You cannot rent to purchase properties everywhere. However, you can send an enquiry, and one of our mortgage advisors will provide all the information you need about renting to buy mortgages here in Northern Ireland.

Guarantor mortgages

Maybe you are searching for a Northern Ireland guarantor mortgage. You may be less likely to be approved for a mortgage if you default on your mortgage payments. However, having a guarantor could increase your chances of getting a mortgage.

A guarantor mortgage allows you to borrow up to 100% of the property’s worth. The maximum amount you can borrow in cash terms is £500,000.

 

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Northern Ireland Secured Loans

Secured loans are also known as “second mortgages” or “second charges”“. Secured loans are generally more flexible than the standard residential mortgages you would get in NI.

These loans are for those who borrow more money. You can’t normally purchase a home on a secured loan. They are almost always secured over a principal mortgage. The loan to value can reach 95%, and some may even be willing to increase to 120% with a higher interest rate.

These lenders don’t enforce the same limits as residential mortgages, so you might be able to borrow more than ten times your income.

For those who need to borrow more but still have their existing mortgage, secured loans may be a good option.

Large Northern Ireland mortgage loans

Large loans are generally those above £500k. This market can be more restrictive when it comes to larger loans. However, all lenders have different criteria. Depending on the size of your mortgage, the LTV ratio for large mortgages may vary. However, they typically range between 70% and 95%.

The LTV is generally lower for larger mortgages.

Fewer lenders offer large loans to bad credit borrowers. Many specialist lenders for bad credit cap their lending at £500k. Some lenders cap it at £750k, while others will exceed £1m. It is important to consult a mortgage specialist in these cases.

Northern Ireland second home mortgages

You can also have second homes (e.g. To live in during the week or holiday houses), which are considered second homes and are calculated using your income and affordability. LTV is the value of the main residence, and the new home is bought. Most lenders consider this.

What amount of deposit do I need?

Some providers will require a larger deposit, while others may want to retain at least 15-20% of the equity in the existing main residence. Some providers will not require a deposit on the new purchase and will only ask for 15%. A few others will accept 10%.

The current mortgage will be considered when assessing affordability for a new mortgage. The same applies to main mortgages that have multiple income caps. Income and affordability are also considered.

Some lenders offer second home mortgages with higher LTVs for those with bad credit. This can make it more difficult for people who don’t have large equity or a substantial deposit.

 

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Northern Ireland agricultural mortgages

Northern Ireland’s farm mortgages are a niche market typically provided by commercial lenders. These mortgages are different to residential mortgages, so it is important to get specialist advice before you proceed.

 

Northern Ireland remortgaging

Are you about to close your deal? Are you looking to change from interest only to a repayment mortgage? Maybe you want to refinance your home or free up equity for other purposes like debt consolidation.

Remortgaging a property can be done for many reasons, including refinance of clear debt.

When thinking about remortgaging your home, there are several things to remember.

How to find the best remortgage deals in NI

It is worth looking for the best NI remortgage rates or having one of our whole-of-market broker partners do it for your benefit.

It used to be complicated, but it is now very simple. Make sure you have a deal with your new lender that covers all expenses.

Comparison of remortgages

Make sure you compare NI remortgages by checking the monthly cost, interest rate, and coverage.

Rates for mortgages in NI vary based on where you live. We can help you check your area with an advisor to ensure that you are fully informed.

Calculator for remortgage

You might check a remortgage calculator in the first instance. However, this information is not guaranteed to be 100% accurate.

Talk to one of our expert brokers to get all the information and best rates on remortgages in Northern Ireland.

Speak to a NI mortgage specialist today

Contact us or make an enquiry to discuss your options and get answers to your questions regarding the Northern Ireland property markets. Let us handle the rest.

A specialist broker can help you apply for a mortgage and save money, time, and marks on your credit report. There is no fee, and you don’t have to change your credit rating.

 

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