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First time buyers are driving mortgage enquiries from older borrowers

There has been a surge in enquiries from borrowers aged 55 and over looking for mortgage options to help children and grandchildren onto the property ladder, according to new research.

Nearly half, some 47% of first time buyers are partially funded by grandparents or parents, the research from independent equity release advisor Key has found.

The firm says that retired home owners are increasingly considering cashing in buy to lets, acting as guarantors as well as remortgaging or taking out new mortgages, including equity release, to help children and grandchildren buy a home.

While parents and grandparents continue to use both savings and pension funds to give the younger generation a step onto the housing ladder, they are increasingly also looking at their own property assets to meet this need.

According to the study of 150 mortgage advisers, some 19% have had enquiries from older customers about selling buy to lets and holiday homes, while 32% have been asked about acting as guarantors to help their children or grandchildren onto the property ladder.

That is on top of 28% who are investigating the option of remortgaging and 21% taking out new mortgages as the pressure builds on over 55s to share property wealth with the younger generations.

Mortgage brokers estimated that 47% of first time buyers are partially helped with their deposit by grandparents or parents, with only a third managing to go it alone without any financial support.

This means that brokers are confident in the market with 60% of brokers expect a rise in first time buyer enquiries this year, indicating the record levels of business recorded by UK Finance are set to grow.

But it is not just first time buyers who are relying on the older generation. Advisers estimate 24% of those moving to their next home are being helped in part with their finances by parents or grandparents.

‘With advisers foreseeing a surge in first time buyer enquiries, it’s clear that the property wealth of over 55s is increasingly playing an important role in tackling the intergenerational imbalance of property ownership,’ said Will Hale, chief executive officer of Key.

‘That said, with the older generation often using their savings and pensions to help raise the deposit, there is a real possibility for this generosity to have a sting in its tail. Getting specialist advice which considers all options, including equity release, is vitally important to ensure that they make decisions which will benefit themselves and their families over the long term,’ he added.