Property & Mortgages

Leeds Building Society to launch 15-year fixed-rate mortgage for later life borrowers

The retirement interest-only mortgage has been created for older borrowers who are keen to secure their rate for longer

A 15-year fixed rate mortgage aimed at borrowers in later life is about to be launched by Leeds Building Society.

The retirement interest-only (RIO) mortgage has been created in response to demand from older borrowers who were keen to secure their rate for longer.

Leeds Building Society was one of the first lenders to launch RIO mortgages back in July last year, just after the regulator, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), redefined interest-only deals as standard mortgages.

RIOs allow customers to make interest-only payments to their loan. Capital is eventually paid off using the sale of the property, an event which usually takes place when the owner dies or when they move into residential care.

Leeds’ latest offering, which will be available on 30 July, comes following the launch of a five-year RIO and then a 10-year version. According to Leeds 70% of its applicants were seeking a fixed term of at least five years and nearly one in six of its RIO mortgages had 10-year fixed rates.

It also revealed the top reasons customers took out RIO mortgages, with home improvements, like-for-like remortgages and debt consolidation being the most common motivators.

Leeds said that while RIO mortgages were a completely new market, guidance from the regulator and its own research meant they expected a ‘strong demand’ when the products were launched.

Leeds’ director of products, Matt Bartle said that bearing in mind the UK’s demographic and the changes to how people are managing their financial commitments during later life, they anticipate the demand for RIO will carry on increasing as older borrowers seek greater choice, alongside more established options such as equity release and lifetime mortgages.

Bartle said that the last 12 months bears this out and they will keep the product offering and lending criteria under review so as to support more borrowers wanting to make use of this type of home loan.

As a mortgage lender for more than 140 years, they will use their expertise and experience to carry on meeting the needs of more borrowers to enable them to have the home they want.

There are two options available for those interested in Leeds’ 15-year RIOs. One is a fee-free mortgage, which has a rate of 4.54%. There is also a 4.34% rate available with a £999 fee. The RIO mortgages are available to borrowers aged between 55 and 80.

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