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Self-employed workers excluded from UK mortgage market

1st October 2014 Print

Almost a quarter of UK adults who have been self-employed for more than 12 months have been turned down for a mortgage, according to research from Kensington, the specialist lender. Despite almost 30% of the UK population or 15.0 million adults having been self-employed for more than a 12 month period at some point in their life, a staggering 24% of those have been refused a mortgage, including 10% who were completely unable to secure a mortgage from any provider.

The research also reveals that men (37%) are more likely than women (22%) to be self-employed at some point in their lives, with those in Scotland, London and Eastern England being more likely to seek this form of employment.

According to recent figures, 4.6 million people are currently self-employed in the UK, accounting for 15% of the country’s workforce. This is the highest proportion than at any point since official employment records began. According to analysis by Kensington, if such trends continue, by 2054, the self-employed will make up almost a third of the UK’s workforce (30%).

Yet despite this growing trend, Kensington’s research reveals that the ability to secure a personal residential mortgage was a concern for 11% of people when they were self-employed, particularly those in the West Midlands (25%). Overall, the greatest concerns for over three in ten self-employed people were the challenge of finding new business, securing funding or finance / cash flow and where the next work or project will come from.

Keith Street, Head of Kensington, says: “It’s very clear from our research that not only are the self-employed the fastest growing part of the UK workforce, but that the prospect of being refused a mortgage is a real threat and understandable concern for them.

“At Kensington we have the underwriting expertise to make individual lending decisions for people whose circumstances are not easily assessed by a tick-box automated approach. We believe that self-employed employed workers can benefit from this approach and the guidance offered by a professional mortgage adviser.

“Our message is clear – if you are self-employed, your mortgage options are not limited to the high street. Speak to an independent adviser to find the most appropriate mortgage for your circumstances.”