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There has been great movement for first time buyers especially the recent changes to the Stamp Duty Land Tax payable however we have noticed that there have also been changes with some lenders’ attitudes to lending to people over 60 years old.
There are many reasons someone might be thinking of buying a property or re-mortgaging in their later years, whether it’s to get a better deal on their current home, especially if a fixed rate has ended or they’ve simply decided to downsize; but until recently, obtaining a mortgage over the age of 60 has often been a difficult, if not an impossible process, without resorting to equity release schemes.
As the age of retirement increases and with longer life expectancies, many lenders are revisiting their lending criteria for the over 60s. Organisations such as National Counties, Bath Building Society, the Mansfield Building Society and Metro Bank all have no maximum age cap, and have now paved the way for some of the major lenders to follow suit. Halifax, for example, has increased its maximum age of potential borrowers to 80, whilst the Nationwide has increased their mortgage maturity age from 75 to 85, in a move designed to bring more flexibility and choice to older borrowers.
With cultural trends shifting and more people in their 50s and 60s still looking to make life changing decisions, flexibility in lending is greatly welcomed.
Karen James, Head of Conveyancing at Ramsdens states: "We have already seen the effect an aging population has had on the property market. 60 is the new 40 and many people are having to work much longer than they ever anticipated, older people aren’t considering downsizing until well into their eighties – this results in a shortage of family sized properties coming into the available housing stock. We have noticed an increase in ‘family purchases’ and transfers as adult children continue to live at home but share the cost of mortgage repayments by having their names added to the title."