Nationwide follows Halifax to raise home loan age limit

NationwideFollowing Friday’s announcement from the Halifax that it is to raise the age limit for people paying off mortgages to 80, the Nationwide has today gone one further and upped its limit to 85.

The move will be seen as the latest sign of the impact of rising house prices on buyers.

The building society said the increase was due to “growing demand”, and the limit would be in force from July –the new Halifax age limit comes into force from today.

The development means a 60-year-old Nationwide customer could take out a 25-year mortgage as long as they prove they can afford the repayments.

There have been calls for the industry to do more to help older buyers after tougher mortgage checks, introduced in the wake of the financial crisis, have made it harder for middle-aged people to get a home loan.

Rising house prices have exacerbated the issue, with many people not able to afford to buy their first home until they are in their thirties or forties.

Nationwide said the new age limit would apply to existing customers for all its standard mortgages, but the maximum loan size would be £150,000, and could be no greater than 60 per cent of the property value.

“Access to the mainstream market has been a challenge for older customers, resulting in their needs going unfulfilled. This measure helps to address these needs in a prudent, controlled manner,” said Nationwide head of mortgages Henry Jordan.

The UK two biggest home lenders said they were responding also to house prices which grew 7.6 per cent in the year to February, according to official statistics, and a recent survey by Halifax suggested that one in three 20- to 45-year-olds expected to be working beyond their retirement age to pay off their mortgage.

However, the news of the increased age limits for mortgage customers actually comes on the same day that new figures showed evidence of a slow-down in UK house prices.

The very latest Halifax data shows growth eased to 9.2 per cent in April, down on a month ago, when the lender said house prices were rising by 10.1 per cent.

The slow-down follows a rush to beat the new stamp duty tax rates for buy to let and second homes at the start of April, the Halifax said.

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