Getting a mortgage on an Airey house

Getting an airey house mortgage is similar to the non-standard construction mortgage in the UK. The process of buying an airey house mortgage could be complicated because of the mortgage rules in the UK. With this article, we will critically review all the necessary details required to get a mortgage on an airey house in the UK. Before that, we will start with the history of non-standard construction in the UK.

In the immediate aftermath of the Second World War, the UK faced a dire housing shortage. In response, many homes were built using non-standard construction techniques that delivered much-needed homes more cheaply, quickly, and easier.

While many of these homes are still standing, mortgages for homes of unusual construction – including so-called Airey houses – are likely to prove difficult to secure. Why’s that?

What is an Airey construction house?

The Airey construction house takes its name from its builder, the Leeds-based developer Sir Edwin Airey. An estimated 26,000 Airey houses were built from 1945 to 1955. Airey had already gained some experience using concrete for building houses, and the post-war demand for quickly-built, cheap homes encouraged further development of prefabricated reinforced concrete (PRC) building techniques.

Popularly known as “prefabs”, the resulting homes were viewed as a largely temporary solution to the post-war housing crisis – but many of them have withstood the test of time.

Like several other variations on the same prefab theme, Airey houses used readily available concrete and steel so they were cheap and quick to build. Because they could be erected so easily, only relatively skilled builders and labourers were needed.

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Can I get a mortgage on an Airey house?

While you can get an Airey house mortgage, you must be prepared for the difficulties and obstacles that typically lie in the path of raising a loan on any house of unusual or non-standard construction.

As we have mentioned, Airey homes were built to meet the housing needs of the time and were purposely designed to be quick, cheap, and easy to build, using a mainly unskilled workforce of labourers. The materials used were prefabricated concrete columns and panels and steel beams. None of this spoke of housing built to last – and certainly not as long as houses built using standard, traditional building methods.

Sure enough, therefore, by the 1980s, many of the issues affecting the integrity, stability, and durability of the Airey house became all too apparent. Time and the weather exposed the inevitable deterioration of the homes. In the wetter and less clement climates of Wales and northern England especially, rust was corroding the steel framework of the buildings, and the concrete panels and cladding showed serious deterioration.

As a result, Airey houses – along with many other homes that had been built using prefabricated reinforced concrete (PRC) – were designated as “defective” and listed as such in the relevant schedules of the Housing Defects Act of 1984.

Until fundamental repairs and renovation had been carried out on the original structure and fabric of any Airey house, therefore, it became virtually unsaleable – and, as a result, no lender would be prepared to grant a mortgage for its purchase.

Provided an approved scheme of repair and renovation has been certified, some mortgage lenders continue to entertain applications for mortgages. Since that pool of potentially willing lenders is relatively limited, however, you might want to consult an experienced broker to help track down a likely lender and help you through the application process.

Why is it difficult to get a mortgage on an Airey house?

The difficulties are all associated with how the Airey house was built – using cheap materials and unskilled labour – and the deterioration of the building materials over time. The Airey house continues to illustrate the extent to which mortgages for homes of unusual construction are more difficult to get.

In the case of the Airey house, for example, no lender is likely to consider advancing a mortgage unless the original building has been repaired and refurbished to an approved standard.

Keep in mind that, if you are interested in buying an Airey house, even after it has been repaired and renovated, it remains a dwelling of non-standard construction – where the description of standard construction is reserved for those houses built with brick and blockwork cavity walls and a slate or tiled roof.

What is a PRC Certificate on an Airey House?

PRC is the acronym for Precast Reinforced Concrete. An Airey house is built using precast reinforced concrete (PRC) panels and columns around a steel framework.

A PRC Certificate is a document certifying that renovations have been completed on an Airey house – or other home built using such prefabricated techniques – to an approved standard of repair. Those building works for the repair and reinstatement of the original structure of the house had to have been supervised by a specialist PRC inspector – who is typically a structural engineer.

Only once a PRC certificate has been issued is any lender likely to be prepared to grant a mortgage for the purchase of the property. 

How do Airey house mortgages work?

If the home in which you are interested has gained its PRC Certificate, the formal process of applying for your Airey house mortgage is practically the same as for any other mortgage.

In other words, you will need to satisfy any potential lender that repayment of the mortgage is affordable – given your current and future financial prospects and income, your ongoing expenditure, and any other loans or credit to your name. A check of your credit reference agency files will also tell the mortgage lender how successfully you have managed your past debts and borrowing.

Mortgages for homes of unusual construction are considered a bigger risk for any lender, so you might need to offer a bigger deposit or be prepared to pay a somewhat higher rate of interest on the loan because of those perceived risks.

Even though the property may already have its PRC Certificate, you will still be required to pay for a detailed survey of the dwelling and provide this to your prospective mortgage lender.

Next steps

An Airey home needs to have been repaired and renovated to an approved standard – with the required PRC Certificate issued by the supervising PRC inspector – before any mortgage lender is likely to consider your application.

Even then, you might want to draw on the specialist experience of professionals such as ourselves here at for help in identifying potential lenders and guidance throughout the formal mortgage application process.

FAQs- Mortgage on an Airey house

Can I get a mortgage on an Airey House?

Yes, but only if the house has been properly inspected and certified by a qualified PRC Inspector. The inspection should include checking the integrity of the foundation, the framing, the roof, the windows and doors, the insulation and heating systems, and the plumbing and electrical installations. If you are interested you can contact an independent mortgage broker for mortgages on such prefabricated houses.

Should I buy an Airey House?

Buying an Airey House comes down to your personal preference and your mortgage affordability. You could save thousands of pounds over buying a new build house, but you’ll need to factor in the cost of moving into a new home, plus the cost of fitting out and furnishing it. You could also find yourself paying more than you would for a similar-sized traditional brick and tile home. After all, it’s up to your own preference, but we will suggest getting a piece of financial advice from an advisor.

What is a PRC Certificate on an Airey House?

Before explaining the meaning behind is a PRC certification can mean on an Airey home, it’s a good idea to define the meaning PRC signifies! PRC literally is Precast Reinforced Concrete. PRC is a product for construction which is made by casting concrete into moulds and then curing it at a different spot. It’s commonly used for components like floors and wall panels inside an Airey home.

We’ve mentioned before that Airey homes will require repair work to be done (if it isn’t before) for obtaining a mortgage. The work must be monitored by a certified PRC inspector. The most common is it is a structural engineer. This kind of inspection is distinct from a survey and is particular only to PRC properties. After an inspection has been conducted of the work to be repaired is complete, it will be completed and the PRC document will be issued.

How can I sell an Airey House?

Selling any kind of non-standard construction property has some challenges. There are only a few choices of lenders that are willing to offer a mortgage therefore you might have to appeal to a less discerning market. This is a problem for those seeking to get rid of their home quick. You could attempt to sell your home through auction. Investors seeking to convert their property into an HMO or buy to let are less concerned about techniques for construction. They are likely to seek out tenants in the area, and thus non-standard construction properties are usually attracted to those. But selling the property at auction has its own pitfalls. You’re limited to the market’s size, and you’re not in complete control over the final cost that the house is worth. There is no guarantee the property will be sold.

Can I get a mortgage on an Airey house without repair work being carried out?

It is not always feasible to obtain a loan on unrenovated Airey PRC houses. The reason is that banks and mortgage lenders consider them to be ‘non-standard construction’. This means they aren’t able to provide a mortgage. However, if the work was completed by a licensed professional contractor, you will be able to obtain a loan on the property. It is always better to contact a mortgage broker before starting your mortgage application process for such non-standard properties.

Can I get a mortgage on a concrete house?

Yes, you can get a mortgage on concrete construction property also but you may need to check mortgage affordability before starting your application. Concrete Houses are a different construction type that comes under non-standard mortgages which creates it difficult to get a from street mortgage lenders.