Can I Extend My Mortgage Term To Combat Rising Property Costs?

by | Friday 17th May 2024 | Mortgage News

More people are choosing a longer mortgage term into retirement

More people are choosing a longer mortgage term into retirement

New research from the Bank of England reveals a significant shift in the mortgage market. According to the bank’s research, one in four mortgages will now extend into the borrower’s retirement years. Meaning that 25% or 1/4 of mortgage borrowers will still be paying their mortgage after they retire, raising the question of whether you should extend mortgage term choices or not. This change reflects an increasing trend of mortgage borrowers opting for longer terms to make repayments more manageable. In response to this trend, mortgage comparison website Uswitch has shared with our brokers at Oportfolio some insights that we are happy to share with our clients. Let’s have a look at what the data shows.

Longer Mortgage Term Key Findings:

  • Longer Mortgage Terms: Over half (51%) of mortgage borrowers now opt for a 30-year mortgage or longer.
  • First-Time Buyers: From 2021 to 2023, the average mortgage term length for first-time buyers has increased from 28 years to 29 years.
  • Remortgaging Trends: The average mortgage term for remortgaging has seen the largest increase, from 21 years in 2021 to 23 years in 2023.
  • Affordability Crisis: The average property now costs seven times the average person’s salary, significantly higher than the typical 4-5 times salary cap used by many lenders.

According to the report released by Uswitch, they have identified that the number of borrowers choosing 30-year or longer mortgage terms has risen from 41% in 2021 to over 51% in the past year. Currently the longest mortgage term UK banks will potentially consider is 40 years, depending on your own mortgage affordability criteria and your age. For example, a 25 year old could feasibly take a 40 year mortgage to the age of 65, but a 50 year old could not in most cases as they would be 90 at the end of the term. This increase spans across various types of mortgage applicants, including first-time buyers, home movers, remortgage customers, and buy-to-let purchasers.

Affordability Crisis: Property Prices vs. Salaries

Kellie Steed, a mortgage expert at Uswitch, highlights the stark affordability challenge: “According to the Zoopla house price index, the current average property value in the UK is £264,500. With an average salary of £34,900, an individual would need to borrow more than seven times their annual salary to afford a mortgage for such a property. Most lenders cap their lending at around 4-5 times annual income, making it unsurprising that many are resorting to ‘mammoth mortgage’ terms to stretch their affordability.”

How Extending Mortgage Terms Aids Affordability

Extending mortgage terms can significantly reduce monthly repayments. Steed explains, “Borrowing the same amount over a longer term reduces monthly payments. For example, in 2023, the average first-time buyer borrowed £189,693 at an interest rate of 5.27%, over a 29-year term, resulting in monthly repayments of £1,065. Extending this term to 40 years could decrease payments by £116 per month.”

The Pros and Cons Of A Longer Mortgage Term

While longer mortgage terms can aid in affordability, there are notable trade-offs:


  1. Reduced monthly payments, allowing for potentially higher property affordability.
  2. Beneficial for remortgaging to reduce outgoings or manage rate hikes.


  1. Higher overall interest payments.
  2. Increased likelihood of mortgage repayment extending into retirement.
  3. Less flexibility for future financial adjustments.
  4. Slower equity growth, increasing the risk of negative equity.
  5. Expert Advice: Navigating Long-Term Mortgages

Speak To A Mortgage Expert If You Are Considering A Longer Mortgage Term

If you are even slightly considering extending your mortgage term, then you should always consult a mortgage expert first. Taking a longer mortgage or a mortgage that might extend past your retirement age is not something to be taken lightly and can have implications, so you should always get some advice before settling. At Oportfolio Mortgages, our experts are here to help you determine the most appropriate and beneficial mortgage term for your unique situation. Contact us today to explore your options and secure a mortgage plan that fits your needs.

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If you have any questions about UK mortgage news or or anything you’ve read then please get in touch. We’d love to hear from you.

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