Lengthening mortgage terms give buyers flexibility

10 November 2006
Almost a third of mortgage lenders now offer customers maximum terms of 40 years or more, according to research from MoneyExpert.com.

The independent financial analysis website has found mortgages terms reaching as far into the future as 52 years, from Tesco Personal Finance.

Among 126 mortgage providers surveyed, only 23 per cent limited maximum mortgage terms to the traditional maximum term of 25 years, the study found.

Close behind Tesco comes First Direct offering a 47-year mortgage while HSBC and Alliance & Leicester stretch to 40-year maximum terms.

Lengthening maximum mortgage terms show lenders prepared to go further to help prospective homebuyers onto the property ladder in a time of continuing house price inflation, according to MoneyExpert.

The website points also to the announcement from Abbey last week that it would offer certain categories of borrower up to five times their salary in mortgage lending.

MoneyExpert chief executive Sean Gardner commented: "The cost of the average home has doubled in the past five years … It makes sense that lenders are responding by offering greater flexibility to borrowers."

"The old model of three times salary and a mortgage lasting 25 years maximum is on the way out," he affirmed.

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