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Mortgage lending restrictions having a ‘chilling effect’ on housing market

People over the age of 55 are being frozen out of new mortgages, according to a new study.

Stricter lending criteria means many mortgage companies are unwilling to lend to people over the age of 55 - leaving them in unsuitable properties or paying over the odds for their mortgage.

Around two out of five estate agents believe the problems faced by older borrowers are having an adverse knock-on impact in the housing market as a whole, new research for equity release referral service Key Partnerships shows.

Some 58% of agents believe the existing range of mortgages do not meet the needs of over-55s, while 54% of those surveyed want to see more action to help older customers borrow.

Will Hale, director at Key Partnerships, said: “The mortgage market is working to make it easier for the over-55s to borrow with regulators and lenders recognising there is an issue which needs to be addressed.

“However the fact remains that the experience on the ground is that it is still a major problem and the views of estate agents highlight how making it difficult for over-55s to borrow has a chilling effect on the housing market as a whole.” 

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