First-time buyers forced into longer home loans

First-time buyers taking out record long-term mortgagesPic: Getty

First-time buyers are being forced to take out ever longer loans in a bid to get that first step on the property ladder, according to Britain's biggest building society.

Nationwide said this week that house prices have now been rising for 13 consecutive months, and the boost to the housing market means that those looking for their first property are taking out record-breaking mortgages for terms well over the standard 25 years.

The likes of Halifax, Lloyds and Nationwide now offer mortgages with a maximum term of 40 years, while Santander, Barclays and the Royal Bank of Scotland provide buyers with home loans for up to 35 years.

According to the Council of Mortgage Lenders, the average first-time buyer loan lasts for 28 years, and while such longer terms ease the financial pressure month by month, the greater interest and longer loans mean many young people will still be paying off their mortgage into their 70s.

Robert Gardner, chief economist at Nationwide, told the Daily Mail: "There is a trend towards borrowers lengthening the term of their mortgage.

"At present, 52 per cent of mortgages [lent to first-time buyers] are currently over 25 years, up from 40 per cent in 2007. This may, in part, be to lower their monthly repayments, though the shift may also reflect that people are both living and working for longer."

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