BSA details growth of lending into later life

Ryan Bembridge

November 15, 2017

The number of new mortgages running into later life has increased significantly in the past few years, data from the Building Societies Association has revealed.

In the first six months of 2017 societies issued 60,000 mortgages that are set to mature when the borrower is at least 65, a 45% increase on the same time in 2015.

Meanwhile there was a 162% increase in the number of new mortgages set for maturity when the borrower is between 79 and 84 over the same period.

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In the first half of 2017 43% of new mortgages from building societies had a term longer than 25 years.

Jonathan Westhoff, chairman of the BSA, said: “The peak of this demographic trend is yet to come.

“The traditional first-time buyer market we recognise is steadily shifting up the age range, with first time borrowing stretching beyond 65.

“Others choose to borrow to help their family, secured on the equity it has been their good fortune to see grow.

“Recent recognition by the FCA of retirement interest-only mortgages was welcome.

“A number of societies offer these mortgages, giving older borrowers a useful alternative.”

A total of 34 building societies will now lend to borrowers who will be 80 years old or more at the end of their mortgage term, up from 18 in 2015.

Westhoff also touched on the wider financial crisis.

He added that it’s is time for a more nuanced debate about the use of Green Belt land for housebuilding.

He also said local authorities should be given more flexibility to build in next week’s Budget.

Westhoff was speaking at the BSA annual lunch today.

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