29 June 2022

Help for empty nesters and retired clients opting to buy new in 2022

By Andrew Sadler, Key Account Manager, Suffolk Building Society

Although new builds can typically be seen as the “first rung on the ladder”, we’re seeing a wave of older borrowers downsize to a new build property, with developers increasingly targeting the ageing demographic.

Reasons for older borrowers to buy new

One of the overriding benefits is that new build properties are low maintenance, with a reduced ongoing upkeep compared to an older property and the peace of mind of having a 10-year warranty. They can cost less to run and buying off-plan means buyers can personalise the property before it is even built - no DIY, no ladders and no hassle. This all adds up to an attractive proposition for seasoned homeowners to spend retirement.

How you can help your new build older borrowers

When it comes to financing a new build move, we know a mortgage, like life, isn’t one size fits all:

Downsizing –we can help buyers with a current unencumbered property which is now too big. By using a mortgage to purchase their new build, they have the freedom to move into the new home at their own speed, and, once they are ready, can sell their previous property and use the surplus income for retirement spending.

Releasing cash – for clients with no existing mortgage, or a low outstanding balance, might now choose to borrow additional funds against the new property and free up more equity in their current home. This lump sum of cash can then be used to purchase a lifestyle item, such as a motorhome or caravan, or even to gift money to children or grandchildren to help them get on the property ladder.

BTL income – some older borrowers choose to take out a mortgage to buy their new home, retaining their former property as a buy to let. The rental payments can potentially cover the mortgage on the new home (and then some), providing an additional monthly income and continued future investment.

Why you should talk to us

With a dedicated broker team and expert, manual underwriters there’s not much we haven’t seen before. By employing a common-sense approach we do all we can to help your client.


  • No max age limit for capital and interest mortgages. Interest only capped at 95 at the end of the term.
  • Later life available on standard product range. Max 75% LTV for applicants borrowing into retirement, or 70% LTV for applicants in retirement.
  • Pension income (both currently drawn and uncrystallised) used for affordability assessment. 100% of pension income and 50% of other investment income, plus for an uncrystallised SIPP/pension we’ll take 80% of the fund value, divide by the mortgage term and use the resulting figure in our calculations.
  • Up to 40-year term. Max 30 years for buy to let.
  • 50% fee-free overpayments on all products. We may also offer an ERC-free option with a minimum qualifying age.


Get in touch

It’s not just older borrowers we can help with!  

E: bdt@suffolkbuildingsociety.co.uk         

T: 0330 123 1073 (option 1)        

W: www.suffolkforintermediaries.co.uk

Submit your cases to us online by registering with our panel.


All details and lending criteria correct as at 20 June 2022.

For adviser use only. Please note this content has been supplied by our lender partner and as such, is their responsibility. No party shall have any right of action against Legal & General in relation to the accuracy or completeness of the information in this article.