Later life borrowing research

In a world that's living longer, finding mortgages to suit your needs in later life is becoming all the more important.

In 2020, working with the London School of Economics (LSE), we examined the drivers of remortgaging and equity release among older home owners in England. This was based on a survey of our customers, focus groups, and in-depth interviews with intermediaries and key stakeholders.

We looked into how people are using housing wealth in later life. In particular, what types of older people (aged 60+) withdraw equity from their homes? How do they decide between the possible ways of doing so? And how do they use the funds released?

Our research findings

Our research highlighted that the older home owners are spending their housing wealth now rather than use their accumulated equity to provide for their future long term care needs.

The report, ‘Later life borrowing in a world that’s living longer’ shows that older borrowers’ priorities are more immediate, choosing to focus instead on helping family members financially or to support their own needs. These present day concerns include refinancing an existing mortgage, home improvements or helping with grand children’s education, for example.

Housing wealth can only be spent once. Modern day families also have to consider how best to help their children and grandchildren who face their own set of financial pressures while having to plan for the looming issue of old age care and how to fund it. It appears that for the time being at least, their priority is on present day needs and not the future. The long term implications of spending this wealth now are a massive issue with which government must help and create some semblance of order in a currently chaotic policy area. 

Our report makes the need for joined up housing and later life lending and care policies all the more urgent.

We've helped many borrowers remain in their home by allowing them to have a mortgage with us well into their retirement. We've also helped Interest-Only borrowers who have found themselves trapped on high interest rates.  You should have the choice to downsize when you want, not when your current lender says you should.

Later life borrowing in a world that’s living longer

Read our research report, written in conjunction with the London School of Economics, which looks into how people are using housing wealth in later life.