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Moneyfacts: Mortgage horizons further off than ever

20 February 2007
Making the final mortgage repayments seems to be an endlessly retreating end-goal for many homeowners forced to borrow over longer terms in order to afford their homes, with a handful of lenders offering loans for up to 52 years, has found.

Eight in ten lenders offer maximum mortgage terms longer than 25 years, which 38 per cent of people are tempted to take up, and a quarter offer a 40-year mortgage term.

A range of measures from lenders including permitting larger income multiples and promoting group mortgages suggests they are aware that customers are struggling to buy homes and sustain repayments, Moneyfacts analyst Julia Harris commented.

But customers will saddle themselves with lasting debt if they are not cautious about extending their mortgage, she stressed.

"You could potentially be forking out for that hefty monthly mortgage payment from the moment you turn 18 until the day you retire at 70," Ms Harris warned.

Increasing the loan term also hikes up the sum you will ultimately have to pay, too, Ms Harris warned, as a £130,000 mortgage repaid at 5.25 per cent would cost £77,500 more over a 40-year term than over 25 years.

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