At Roots Mortgages, we like it when something comes out of left field. It’s the kind of people we are. We like it when people take a step ahead and do or create something truly ground-breaking (excuse the pun) and exciting. 

In the mortgage space these kinds of things aren’t always overly forthcoming. People like to stick to their guns in this industry, and who can blame them given what tends to be riding on things in the world of mortgages. 

But when something like the new climate-driven ground-risk assessment model launched this week by TerraFirma, it really is something of interest to us.

What model is this then?

In a nutshell, this is an assessment model that provides interested parties with information on the ground beneath their feet. 

The model – catchily named National Ground Risk Model (NGRM): Climate – has been developed by Terrafirma. These lot specialise in providing information and producing reports about ground hazards. The firm’s mission is to communicate accurate and understandable information about the ground and the risks it may pose to a wider audience in a digestible way.  

What does the model offer?

NGRM: Climate contains risk information for all properties across the UK – something really staggering when you think about it.

Ground hazards can be complex and difficult things, particularly when they rear their head at inopportune times when there has been little to no prior warning of such potential issues.

As well as the 29 million UK properties covered within the model, it also has information on 50 million structures and 30 million land parcels. 

One of the most important and impressive things the model does is offer insight into potential future risks for properties. It provides predictions and potential risks for properties covering a variety of touchpoints, including soils, landslides, climate, mining and coastal erosion. 

It also factors in projections from the MetOffice around emissions – something that is set to impact sea levels in the future and therefore have a potentially huge impact on some coastal communities and properties. 

These predictions collectively can offer invaluable insight into the ground risk of a property in the short, medium and long term – something hugely advantageous when it comes to understanding the challenges facing a property over time.

How might this affect mortgages?

What the model does is offer lenders, brokers and applicants across the mortgage industry incredible insight into ground risk both now and down the line. This means that lenders can get a better idea of the potential value of a property and some of the caveats that may be facing it based on ground risk quickly and efficiently. That in turn could impact mortgage offerings and allow for certain scenarios to be incorporated into discussions.

The tool is also advantageous from the perspective of a buyer – particularly pre-purchase – as the model allows for a deep insight into the ground risk of a property to be ascertained.

Though this kind of information has the potential to curtail some of your house buying plans, it is probably better to know if your home is likely to be underwater in 50 years time now than 40 years down the line.

Ok, that’s an extreme example. But you get the point. When it comes to residential mortgages – and contractor mortgages and freelancer mortgages for that matter – you want to leave no stone unturned. 

Brokers and lenders will be able to use this model to understand ground risk more clearly and in a specific way for your property. It really is the kind of information worth knowing both now, and having in the back of your mind as you move through the years with your home.