Growth in later life market contradicts older borrowers’ perceptions

Jessica Nangle

February 13, 2020

More than half of over 50s borrowers say they have fewer mortgage providers available to them compared to younger mortgage applicants, despite the fact that there are over 60 lenders offering later life products for older borrowers. 

Research from Ipswich Building Society reveals that almost two thirds (60%) of over 50s say that they have fewer mortgage providers available to them compared to younger mortgage applicants, whilst 44% say they are offered less favourable rates.

Richard Norrington, chief executive at Ipswich Building Society, said: “The mortgage landscape for over 50s looks entirely different now compared to just a few years ago but as our research shows, that doesn’t necessarily mean people’s perceptions have kept up.

“Too many borrowers are still pleasantly surprised that they can get a mortgage after a certain age, rather than expecting this to be the norm.”

One in ten of today’s mortgage holders do not anticipate being mortgage-free until at least the age of 70, which follows recent research by the Office of National Statistics which showed that the number of older people in rental accommodation is likely to rise as people in their 30s and 40s are unable to get onto the property.

Norrington added: “Mortgages for older borrowers are still in their infancy, with awareness of these new products still fairly low.

“Borrowing in later life is not suitable for everyone’s circumstances but with more providers lending to more people, the full impact of later life lending could be profound.

“Older borrowers have complex needs, and are not all simply ‘downsizers’.

“Although some are looking for smaller, easy-to-manage properties near to amenities now their children have flown the nest, being older doesn’t mean they stop striving for more, which could mean retiring to an idyllic country cottage, buying a second property, or even remortgaging to help a younger member of the family take their first step onto the property ladder themselves.

“Ipswich Building Society believes that the growth in both choice and access for older borrowers shows lending to over 50s is becoming the new normal.“


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