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Ipswich Building Society launches retirement mortgages

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Ipswich Building Society has launched a retirement mortgage programme, offering its entire stable of mortgage products to retirees as well as to borrowers aged up to 85 at the end of their mortgage term concluding.

Every residential mortgages offered by Ipswich will accept 100 per cent of a borrower’s pension, as well as other forms of income (such as investments), when considering affordability.

Research conducted by Ipswich found on average that one in five (18 per cent) expect to be still paying off their mortgage in retirement, including a fifth (26 per cent) of 25-34 year olds.

A third of the UK (33 per cent) are concerned about the availability of mortgage products in the future when they are older; just over a third (35 per cent) believe they will end up paying a higher mortgage rate in the future as a result of their age.

In reaction to the findings of the Mortgage Market Review, many banks and building societies restricted lending to borrowers if the term lasted past the borrower’s 65th birthday. This has resulted in borrowers in their mid-40s and above having access to a much-reduced range of mortgage providers and products; it also limits their ability to release the equity of their property in order to offer financial assistance to family members, and help address their own long-term term health needs.

“Our research has shown the availability of mortgage products is an issue of concern to all age groups, not just those approaching retirement,” said Paul Winter, chief executive of Ipswich Building Society. “Sadly many of the high street lenders have decided to interpret the recent mortgage regulation as a reason to restrict borrowing to older and retired borrowers, adopting a ‘computer says no’ approach to applicants. I don’t believe MMR was ever meant to be used in this way.”

“We are committed to supporting all borrowers – including the self-employed, builders, first-time buyers, older generations and those who have experienced a lifestyle change – while retaining a diligent approach to lending. Our manual underwriting means we are able to take into account other forms of income, including pensions and investments, more readily.”

“I would urge other lenders to reassess their product offering and lending criteria for retirees and older borrowers who have been unfairly restricted or alienated from the mortgage market since MMR.”



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