Strong lending by The Cambridge highlights the importance of support for older borrowers

8 March 2018 • Corporate

The Cambridge Building Society has achieved gross lending of £240m in 2017 and reveals that the fastest growing group of borrowers is the over 60s.

As well as first time buyers starting house-buying later, following the removal of its upper age limit for applicants in January 2016, the Society has seen strong demand directly from older borrowers as well as intermediaries who have clients looking to remortgage or borrow more as they choose to work to a later age or have a secure retirement income.  The number of new loans written in 2017 to the over 60s increased by 11% year on year and in the past four years the proportion of borrowers aged 60 or over grew by 25%.

Andy Lucas, Chief Operating Officer at The Cambridge said; “Our core purpose of helping people to have a home remains as strong now as it’s ever been.  As well as continually finding solutions to support first time buyers, we recognise that there are other groups of all ages who also need our support.

“Our ability to look at each mortgage case individually was a key driver in making the decision to remove our upper age limit in 2016.  These figures show what demand there is for borrowing at a later stage in life and with the average age of our applicants now hitting 50 for the first time, it’s a real indicator of the market changes lenders will need to continue to adapt to.”

These figures reiterate those provided in the Building Societies Association’s Lending into Retirement 2017 update which reported a 45% increase in the number of mortgages sold in the first half of 2017 that will mature when the borrower is 65 or older vs. the same period in 2015 (Source: UK Finance Regulated Mortgage Survey).

The UK’s mortgage market will need to continue innovating and responding with information, products and advice and guidance.  UK Finance’s opinion on the topic, published in August 2017 outlined these challenges and opportunities calling for a more joined-up approach across the industry.

Andy Lucas continues: “We understand that there are many options available to older borrowers so we make sure our teams have an awareness and appreciation of what’s available across the market.  As a responsible lender where we identify a customer need we can fulfil we will, but if not we’ll point them in a different direction.”