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New analysis shows link between rates and longer mortgage terms

The ‘average’ 25 year mortgage term is increasingly becoming a thing of the past says USwitch.

A recent study of the data from mortgage broker technology site Twenty7Tec found that over 70 per cent of all searches were for mortgages with terms exceeding 25 years in length. 

And according to Experian 25 per cent of homeowners under the age of 30 now have a repayment term of 35 years or more, an increase of 150 per cent since 2020.


UK Finance data shows the Bank of England base rate increases correlated with the rise in longer mortgage terms:

  • Prior to the first rise (December 2021) the base rate was at 0.1 per cent - nine per cent of all first-time buyers took out mortgages longer than 35 years at this time;
  • In August 2023, the base rate had risen 14 times to 5.25 per cent - that’s 20 per cent of all first-time buyers were recorded as taking out mortgage terms beyond 35 years at this point

Mojo Mortgages - partnered with USwitch -  reported an increase in those choosing terms of 25 years or longer, from 44 per cent of all customers buying a new home in 2021 to 57 per cent of all purchase customers in 2023. 

An increase in the term lengths has been seen across all residential purchase and remortgage customers, as well as buy-to-let purchase customers, as demonstrated in this table:

Mortgage applicant type

Average term length in 2021

Average term length in 2023

First time buyer



Home mover






Buy-to-let purchase



Buy-to-let remortgage



However, the opposite is true of the buy-to-let remortgage market, with customers choosing shorter terms, on average, in 2023 than 2021. USwitch says this could be a result of commercial buyers generally having more financial flexibility than residential buyers, or that they’re able to repay mortgage balances down more quickly. It could, however, also potentially suggest that existing homeowners have been more substantially impacted by rising mortgage rates than existing landlords. 

Since 2021, a significant number of lenders have increased the length of their maximum terms, as well as their maximum borrowing ages.

Moneyfacts data shows that 86 per cent of the mortgages currently available have the option of terms spanning up to 40 years. 

This is sometimes conditional, based on age at application, so it won’t necessarily be possible to get a 40 year mortgage at age 55, for example.

However, there is a very clear recognition from lenders that flexibility is needed in order to facilitate affordability for the average mortgage borrower in 2024.

Through specialist lenders, it’s also possible to get mortgages that stretch beyond 40 years, with some offering terms as long as 45 and even 50 years. A number of specialist, and more mainstream lenders have also upped their maximum age at the end of the loan term in the past few years. 

It’s now much more common to see products lending up to the age of 80 and even 85 years old. 


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