Bridging Finance Solutions (BFS) says it has seen a sharp increase in ‘silver bridgers’ during the past 12 months.
BFS has seen a 42% rise in the number of applicants age 60 and above who typically are looking to downsize their property or are keen to boost their pension with a property investment.
The firm expects the trend to continue into 2018.
John Hardman (pictured), BFS’s head of sales, said: “At BFS, we are seeing a general upturn in those looking to bridge as this type of borrowing becomes increasingly integrated into main stream lending, however, there is definitely considerable growth in the over 60s market.
“Often our clients have identified a smaller more suitable home as their dependants have left the nest but have yet to place their own property on the market. By securing a property quickly through bridging, the customer ensures that the property can be acquired and then we are repaid on disposal of the primary home. Additionally, we see clients in this age bracket growing their property portfolio often via auction purchases which is another market in which BFS are extremely active in.
“The last five to ten years have seen provision for retirement via normal vehicles such as company and private pensions reduced. Once an applicant approaches 60, they typically look towards the approaching retirement horizon and want to maximise their returns in respect of future pension income and capital growth – property is obviously a key route to achieving this.
“I also believe that this age group is no longer content to retire and sit back, instead they are looking at projects through which they can realise additional income. I foresee a steady increase in this market for the near future as over 60’s continue to develop their knowledge of the property sector and also seek out more flexible savings and investment options than stocks, shares and pension. We’re keen to work with more ‘silver bridgers’ who are often incredibly cost savvy and have researched and garnered a good understanding of how the bridging process works.”