Rise in retirees choosing to upsize
Earlier this month the Loughborough Building Society announced that it has removed its age limit for borrowers. It now allows a maximum term of 25 years, even if the applicant is over 70.
And last week the Family Building Society raised its end of term age to 95, allowing even 65 year olds to take out a 35 year mortgage.
These changes are part of a growing trend amongst lenders to cater for a changing housing market. As the age of home ownership rises and people work longer and also have longer retirements, the traditional model of paying off the mortgage by the age of 65 looks increasingly outdated.
15 building societies now have no age limit for new mortgages and Aldermore Bank has raised it maximum age for a new borrower to 85.
This comes as research from the National House Building Council (NHBC) Foundation found that upsizing is almost as popular as downsizing amongst over 55.
In a survey of almost 1500 new build home owners aged between 55 and 74, while 39% had downsized, 33% had moved to a home of the same size as previously and 28% had moved to a bigger home.
Risks of borrowing in later life
These looser rules will enable older people to fund a better quality of life or release some equity in their home for children or grandchildren. However, taking out a mortgage in later life does come with risks.
“As a nation we’re living longer and many people work well into the normal retirement years. But poor health could mean you are unable to continue,” says Harvey Harding, MD of PM Property Lawyers. “And if you are relying on a salary to make mortgage payments this will have a serious impact. Likewise, there could be problems if you are in a couple and making mortgage payments from your pensions. If one of you dies your pension income could halve and again, this will pose a significant challenge.”
He continues, “It’s essential to have proper professional advice before you embark on such a mortgage. It’s also wise to have your will in place so it’s absolutely clear what happens should you die. Setting up Lasting Powers of Attorney is something I’d recommend at any age, but particularly in these circumstances. This means appointing someone you trust to look after your affairs in the event that you lose capacity. Organising both of these should be part of everyone’s financial strategy for the later years.”
If you would like to discuss making your will or setting up Lasting Powers of Attorney, please call us on 0114 249 6926 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.