If 2020 had been a year of unprecedented circumstances, 2021 has been a time of trying to adapt to a new way of doing things.

For the housing industry, this has certainly rung true. While a level of stability has thankfully returned over the course of 2021, there have been plenty of ups and downs along the way as well.

As the year draws to a close, we wanted to reflect on the past 12 months and take a look at what might be around the corner in 2022. So without further ado, here is the final Roots Mortgages blog of 2021!

2021 in freelancer and contractor mortgages

The year started with a couple of pieces of positive news. Mortgage approval rates reached their highest point in 13 years, and the help-to-buy scheme received an extension. These headlines were both signs of things to come throughout 2021, as various initiatives to support house buying were initiated. 

As well as bringing you the latest mortgage industry updates, Roots Mortgages also looks to offer guidance for contractors and freelancers when it comes to getting on the property ladder. As part of this, in March 2021 we published an article on 5 things every contractor should do when seeking a mortgage. Covering things like staying on top of your admin, checking your credit score and getting the right support, this article offers a helpful checklist that can help make securing a mortgage a smoother process. 

We also published an article on why you might not get a contractor mortgage. Coming at things from a different angle, this article pinpoints common mistakes that can affect an applicant’s chances of securing their perfect mortgage.

In June, we published a blog dedicated to the needs of freelancers, with tips on how to secure a freelancer mortgage. Freelancers can sometimes face challenges around proving affordability and suitability to lenders. This article contains a few titbits that can help smooth out this process and provide freelancers with the best opportunity to get a mortgage that works for them.

In July, we reported on there being more choice for first-time buyers, while September saw a new mortgage for self-employed workers hit the market. This offering from Kensington Mortgages is named the Income Recovery mortgage, and was launched with workers who have seen a significant drop in income since the start of the pandemic in mind. Their criteria focuses on the applicant’s previous two years of income prior to the pandemic, rather than just the pandemic-affected last 12 months. 

September was also when Roots Mortgages launched our Mortgage A-Z guide. This article provides you with a heap of great insight and explains lots of the terminology used around contractor mortgages and freelancer mortgages.

The year’s latter months saw an interesting budget revealed in October, with investment in new housing and the potential for the economy to grow moving forwards being highlights.

And last but not least, November saw the official launch of Deposit Unlock. This collaborative initiative gives buyers the opportunity to get a mortgage on a newbuild home with a 5% deposit. This covers properties from a list of home builders, and is available for both first-time buyers who may have limited deposits, and for second steppers

That’s just a few of the big stories from 2021. For more, you can browse through our full news section.

What might happen in 2022?

If 2021 was about adjusting, 2022 is likely to start in that same spirit. The headlines at the moment are all about the Omicron variant, with the present situation regarding COVID-19 disconcerting to say the least. How this will affect society and the mortgage industry as we move into 2022 remains to be seen. 

What else may come to pass in 2022? Mortgage rates started to rise again in the latter part of 2021, so this will likely continue into the new year. 

With greater momentum around climate change seen in 2021, we predict this to only become more prevalent next year. This will inevitably impact the mortgage and housing industries, and we believe more green and environmentally-friendly initiatives will be seen.

We are also of the opinion that more contractors and freelancers will start to look for mortgage brokers to support their plans. There can be concerns about lenders being hard to engage with, but brokers are the perfect medium to bring together an applicant and a lender with ease. 

It also would not surprise us if more people look to move into contracting and freelancing. While having a stable job at the height of the pandemic was a godsend, things are starting to settle down somewhat in the world of work. This means many people will be considering their options. Whether a recent job has been lost or they are just looking for a change of pace, both freelancing and contracting have benefits that we know are appealing to workers. With this in mind, we would not be surprised to see more and more people changing how they work and adopting this lifestyle.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

2021 was Roots Mortgages’ second full year in operation, and we are delighted with the progress we have made. We have supported countless contractors, freelancers, umbrella and PAYE workers and provided the guidance and advice they need to secure a mortgage that works for them. 

If getting a contractor mortgage, freelancer mortgage or a residential mortgage is on your to-do list for 2022, Roots Mortgages is happy to help. The team would be delighted to hear from you, so please do get in touch.

From all of us at Roots Mortgages, we would like to wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!