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This week it’s been reported that there is a rapidly increasing number of people over 60 who are unable to buy a home due to being ‘too old’ to get a mortgage.

These so-called ‘silver renters’ are struggling to borrow money to purchase a property as lenders are worried they will retire before the mortgage is paid off. This is an issue to lenders as typically ones income goes down after retirement due to no longer having a regular salary, creating uncertainty as to whether they will be able to keep up their mortgage repayments.

Whilst the majority of older people own their own home, according to a study by CountryWise, ‘silver renters’ are rapidly on the rise, accounting for around 8% of privately renting tenants, up from 5.2% in 2007. It’s predicted this number will continue to increase.

There is no singular cause for this increase, it is instead due to a combination of financial and socio-economic factors. First off, skyrocketing house prices are meaning people are leaving it later and later to buy a house, compounded by ever-increasing rent and low wage inflation, saving for a home is becoming a pipe dream for aspiring homeowners of all ages.

Divorce rates amongst older couples is also a significant contributor. Rates amongst older couples have continually increased since the ’90s, especially so in the past 5-10 years. Over 13,000 women aged 55+ divorced in 2016, and for men, the figure was even higher at 19,454. This is a double-digit percentage rise in rates compared to 2015. In fact, around 28 per cent of the total number of divorces last year were by men and women aged over 50. In most cases this causes one of the parties to move out of the marital home and into a rental accommodation.

The renter population is ageing. Over half of private renting tenants are over 30 and the number of pensioners renting is at record levels, those who rent into retirement typically find themselves much worse off.

Getting a mortgage later in life…

Getting a mortgage later in life isn’t impossible. There is no maximum age for applying for a mortgage however lenders may have their own limits, and the older you are means you may be restricted to shorter mortgage terms.

Whether you’re looking to re-mortgage, downsize or even buying your first property, there are steps you can take to maximise your chances.

If you aren’t yet retired you will need to ask your pension provider to provide some basic information such as the value of your current pension pot and your expected retirement income. If you are already retired it’s much simpler to prove your income as you will be able to show what has been coming in each month.

You can also provide proof of any other savings or investments you may have.

As with any search for a mortgage deal, it’s always important to shop around, there are lenders out there who specialise in mortgages for older applicants, these will be able to offer you more suitable terms for your circumstances.

If you are buying and selling a house and are looking for an experienced, full-service conveyancing team to guide you through the process, give our Residential Property team a call on 0161 930 5151, e-mail

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