Expat in Hong Kong

THE SCENARIO

A client recently contacted Enness following a number of disappointments in his search for a loan. He was and older borrower looking to release equity from his unencumbered property so he could complete an onward purchase but, due to his age, had encountered a string of obstacles as the majority of lenders will not lend to people past a certain age. Although we are seeing lenders adapt and increase their age limits, at 78, my client was repeatedly deemed too risky.

My client was a retiree whose only income was from commercial rent, something which posed a further challenge. Lenders prefer borrowers to be able to show traditional income in order to pay off a mortgage, rather than just rental income.

The property he wished to raise money against was valued at £13million and he wished to buy a new property in a very desirable area of Prime Central London.

Despite over half a million people in the UK being over 90, many banks and lenders see age as a barrier to lending. This is deemed a risk as over a certain age, a borrower is likely to not have a steady income. In my client’s case he had income from commercial property rent but even that is considered unreliable by some lenders.

However, we are seeing more lenders adapting to an aging population and upping their age limits and, thanks to Enness’ extensive network of lenders, we are made aware of these changes as they occur and can advise our clients right away. Many of our lenders will take a holistic view of the circumstances of an older borrower, in order to overcome the hurdle of age.

As a result of this, I knew of one who would take a more bespoke approach to the underwriting of the loan, enabling them to accept borrowers of all ages, with no traditionally earned income. They were able to offer my client a variable rate of 3.24% over a 5-year term, something which was only possible with this particular lender.

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