Comment: The rise of the ‘silver renter’

McCabe_Bill

As a lending community it is vital we acknowledge the evolving needs of both the younger and ageing generations

I am sure there will be some people who disagree but the infamous Oscar Wilde quote, “There is only one thing in life worse than being talked about and that is not being talked about”, rings true more often than not.

Throughout the years the number of discussions surrounding first-time buyers and the younger generation of borrowers tended to dwarf those surrounding lending into retirement and servicing the needs of the older generation. However, the more senior end of the lending and rental community is starting to receive far more attention.

In the past few weeks alone a potential boom in retirement lending has been mooted in certain quarters as a result of regulatory changes in the offing. It was also interesting to see research from Your Move suggesting almost half of tenants living in private rental accommodation across the UK were aged over 46 – signalling the rise of the ‘silver renter’.

Of those surveyed, 25 per cent of 18- to 25-year-olds claimed they were satisfied with renting, with 80 per cent wanting to own their own home in the future. These numbers reversed for those aged 55 and above, with 46 per cent stating they were happy with renting and only 19 per cent saying they would like to own a house in the future.

As a lending community it is vital we acknowledge the evolving needs of both the younger and ageing generations, and engage openly about how best to support everyone within regulatory and risk boundaries.

This will not only ensure continued forward momentum for the housing and mortgage markets but also help secure better futures for borrowers and tenants, however old they may be.

Bill McCabe is managing director, mortgages transformation at Barclays