People who were due to move into the first phase of the Westwood Acres development at Poorhole Lane from May this year are facing homelessness, refusals to extend mortgage offers or new deals on much higher rates because of delays in completion dates.
The Westwood Acres development is split into three phases of 153 modular homes. The first phase went on the market in February and buyers were expecting to move in from May but issues and delays with the electrical connectivity date has meant completion dates have not been confirmed.
Now many of the buyers says they are facing problems extending their mortgage offers or are being told that more expensive deals have to be taken due to a rise in interest rates.
Others have been refused an extension, some face homelessness or moving into hotels and Air BnBs because they have given current landlords notice while another, who had not yet exchanged contracts, has pulled out altogether.
One buyer, who has asked not to be named, said: “Due to their incompetence we have people whose mortgage offers are running out and they will not be able to afford new mortgage payments based on rising rates.
“There are people who have had to move into Air BnBs or family member’s homes because we were promised these properties in May/June/July/ August/September/ October and November.
“The goalposts have moved every single month. We are now waiting to be connected to the grid having been told that we had a date for this mid October. We’re now told there is no connection date.
“My lender is refusing to extend our offer. Applying for a new mortgage offer on today’s ever increasing rates is almost certainly going to price us out. We simply cannot afford any further increase on price.
“We have been promised these properties on a monthly basis since they were supposedly meant to be ready in May.
“Others are in the same situation, most are in phase one. All our mortgage offers are expiring at the same sort of time. One couple has been living in BnB at £500 a week since July. One family had to move into their mums and dads, another will be homeless in December as the landlord already gave them 6 month extension.
“Our same mortgage product is £300 more a month. We can’t afford it and we don’t know what we’re going to do.”
Another buyer said they bought off plan with a completion date of June but say they have been continually fobbed off, adding: “If they were honest throughout this build process then people would be in better positions and would have more tolerance.”
Another buyer described the situation as a ‘ticking timebomb’ saying: “There will be people who have exchanged contracts and will struggle legally to withdraw from the sale, but who would now also not pass the affordability criteria to buy one of these houses in the first place! They need to be doing something to fix this and quick…this is a ticking timebomb.”
Love Living Homes leads the development, backed Town & Country Housing, and is currently advertising homes in Phase 2.
The development, which has shared ownership deals, was approved in May 2021. An initial proposal for the site had been rejected by Thanet council in August 2015 but was approved on appeal by the Planning Inspectorate in February 2017.
Colin Lissenden, Development Director for Town & Country Housing, said the company is doing all it can to support buyers through the “unexpected delay.”
He said: “The initial electricity provider has recently advised that they are unable to proceed with the connectivity to our Westwood Acres development. However, an alternative provider has now been agreed and we are currently awaiting connectivity dates.
“Until the electrical connectivity date is provided, we are unfortunately unable to provide completion dates to our buyers. We can assure our buyers that we are constantly pressuring the provider for updates and will continually send any new information we receive to our customers.
“We understand that this is a significant matter of concern for our customers and appreciate how frustrating this situation is. We have written to everyone affected and we are doing all we can to support our buyers through this unexpected delay.
“We are committed to ensure all buyers are updated regularly with the latest progress and would urge any buyers with any concerns to contact our team.”
If you can’t afford the mortgage increase you were going to default anyway because the interest rate has only one way to go from historic and prolonged low levels. Never borrow the most you can afford, it gives you no where to go.
That, unfortunately, is probably quite true.
Most of our mortgage rates were at 0.75% for 5 years fixed! It’s unlikely it will be worse than where it is now in 5 years. We’re looking at about 6% atm! It’s complete negligible from the development company to not have basic utilities done before the completion date which was supposed to be middle of the year. I doubt I’ll be in my house before Christmas now and many people are struggling to get extensions due to the large change in interest rates in just the last 6 months! Never ever use Love Living Home!
That doesn’t stop it being appalling, unfortunately someone’s word being their bond doesn’t apply anymore. Securing power and water connections should have been done before the foundations were started.
Is this not the place built on a pet cemetery. Roll on Halloween
Never mind this build will probably fall down before the mortgage is paid
Wasn’t the opening supposed to be last year? Would be hilarious if those moving in voted Tory.
No doubt there are some. They should ask Craig MacKinlay MP if he can help. After all along with Gale our NHS/QEQM is safe in their hands.\
that site should never have been built on anyway , it was probably the best and last nature reserve in thanet , i would have liked to have had the envelope that was pushed for that development.
Why leave it late to see…
Perhaps it will dealy the 14,400 homes being planned for farmland in Thanet?
Just suck it up buttercup, life’s a bitch sometimes
I really feel MPs should step in to put pressure on all companies involved to get the grid link up completed within the next week as it had been previously set for. Then an imminent completion date can then be organised. The MPs should then be able to help put pressure on mortgage companies to extend these previously agreed mortgage rates for a short term extension. These families need support from people with some power to help them as they are at the mercy of all companies involved, but it is the families facing homelessness! These homeless families will then need even more help from the government.
So much for the lies about “ affordability homes” if the residents move in as part owner part rent it works out at 25% mortgage =£475 per month 75% rent = £1350 per month total per month £1825 per month with the current interest rates. It’s no wonder they have been delayed. This is the daylight reality of the Conservatives home ownership that has been designed to keep home owners poor and city bankers / traders rich in huge bonuses.
Bill, ‘Twas the Tories that introduced RTB, remember?
Millions bought homes under those pesky Tories may have conveniently forgot, I might add.
In any case, one must judge the protracted anguish against the value of some boxy ersatz new build and decide if it’s worth the pain.
Or, elect to buy outside this increasingly gentrified Isle.
Slightly different subject. Have you noticed the amount of foundation work being installed ASAP . Next year there’s a massive raft of new measures coming in on house foundations . So if the build has started there use the old regulations. Sly just pour in the concrete and avoid big costs next year.
Not a good situation for all involved. Promises promises from the builders. Truly awful.
I would say however , when you are applying for a mortgage , You should always have additional funds ready for any rate increase or for any unfortunate expenses Never stretch yourself to the full as it will truly fail
Why would you want to live on top of a death pit, maybe the dead there are having fun messing up the works.
End of day should never been aloud to build
I remember years ago watching a film were they built homes over a grave yard. The residents got a bit of a shock digging in the garden
Pet cemetry… Hardly great for foundations
Oh, the mythical plague pit. There aren’t any there.
Where does the name “Poor hole” come from then?
Check the archaeological record. The evaluation and strip and map proves the point!