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Graham Awards


Agents worry that over-55s are latest to suffer mortgage restrictions

Around six in 10 estate agents say their experience shows that mortgage lending restrictions targeting customers aged 55 or over are causing problems in the market. 

Some 58 per cent believe the current range of mortgages does not meet the needs of over-55s and 54 per cent want to see more action to help older customers borrow.

Research by Key Partnerships, an equity release firm, acknowledges that many older buyers do not necessarily require borrowing. But the agents questioned in the survey nonetheless say older homeowners typically face shortfalls when looking for their last move due to the premium prices for many properties for senior buyers, such as bungalows. 


“Estate agents highlight how making it difficult for over-55s to borrow has a chilling effect on the housing market as a whole” claims Will Hale, a Key Partnerships director. 

“Estate agents need to focus on solutions when assisting clients and it is clear that older customers would benefit from a wider range of options than offered in the mortgage market” he says.

“Estate agents who can discuss equity release as a potential alternative are able to benefit from an additional revenue stream by way of a referral commission by introducing potential clients to a specialist adviser as well as secure an otherwise lost house sale” Hale adds.

“Equity release is not readily seen as a solution for home purchase but rather a solution for those staying in their home. Equity release should be seen as an essential part of the home buying options available to older borrowers” claims Hale.

He says that in return for referrals, Key Partnerships pays introducers - including agents - an average of £1,450 on completion of the loan.

  • Brit Sixteen Sixty Four

    Equity release is just another way to try to keep the housing bubble going. Debt, debt and more debt won't give us a healthy economy. Just another solution to force my and younger generations to pay for the baby boomers lifestyle whilst we are denied the opportunities they had for home ownership.

    Grahame Hopper

    You have the same opportunities nowadays, however, at 55+ most baby boomers are unable to even remortgage to the current lower rates available? Apparently we are unable to prove that we can pay a mortgage which is 50% cheaper than a new fixed rate. We saved deposits regularly into 3 different building societies, hoping one of them would give us a mortgage, once we'd saved 10% deposit.

  • Richard Copus

    Not quite, in my view.
    Equity release helps some of those still remaining with interest only mortgages who would otherwise be forced out of their homes. Most people use it for that little bit of added cash to go on a few extra holidays before they pass away or get Alzheimers. The amount borrowed is usually minimal compared to the equity in their properties and as long as the amount one is able to borrow is capped at around a third of full capital value (which it is not as one can borrow more and more as one gets older) it is a benefit to the homeowner, the economy in general and does not add to the housing bubble.

  • Terence Dicks

    What housing bubble?? Until the house builders actually build houses the prices will continue to rise. When they DO build and sell them they are are overpriced. The market is hardening due to less property coming to the market. Mortgages are difficult to obtain, and lending is apparently more "responsible". Blaming my generation for you and others maybe having difficulty purchasing property in the current climate is irresponsible and ill-thought out. Neither you or anyone else pays for my lifestyle but me Brit Sixteen Sixty Four, and I have worked in this industry most of my working life to do so, and will continue to do so until I retire.


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