From a time when retirement was funded by pension benefits and retirement fund, the retired UK citizens are now moving towards surviving on rental income. The real estate market is witnessing a rapid shift with older people actively coming forward to invest in buy-to-let (BTL) properties.

commercial mortgages

While the younger groups did not seem highly enthusiastic about property investment, the numbers for ‘over 55’ age-group funding rental properties saw a sharp rise in 2018. People are realising that there are better returns from infusing their savings and retirement funds into real estate.

The Two-Year Surge

Over just a two year period, the statistics have soared up and swept the onlookers from their feet. Silver landlords are more interested in investing their savings into real estate than surviving on a fixed cheque every month.

This was noticed when the specialist buy-to-let broker published the results of a research on commercial buy-to-let mortgage applications in 2018. Based on the results, the number of people aged between 65 and 75 who applied for buy- to-let mortgages in 2018 was 6% more than 2017. Furthermore, 30% of applications for commercial mortgages came from groups over 55 years of age, and were up by 8% in 2018 as compared to the previous year.

In total, 39% of the entire mortgage applications in 2018, including purchasing and BTL ones, were made by people over 55 years of age. It seems citizens do not wish to stop making profit even after retirement.

Age Demographics

The Commercial Trust carried out a research on commercial BTL mortgages based on age demographics. According to the data, while applications from 25-34 year olds saw a minute increase of 0.03%, a 5.43% rise was observed for the 65-75 year age group, as compared to the 2017 data.


It can be analysed from the results that a big difference is emerging between the various age groups who are infusing their savings and earnings into property. This can either be due to lack of funds during early years of employment, or varying priorities of individuals. Younger generations would focus on their family and resources than investing in BTL mortgages.

Commercial BTL mortgages are a way to augment or sometimes even replace pensions. The elder generation is more involved nowadays in securing their retirement income and putting their hard earned money in the right place. They do not prefer slowing down even after exiting from work.

Maximum Age Ceiling

The mortgage lenders do not see this trend of the older generation bent towards BTL mortgages dying down anytime soon. A large part of the population seems to be approaching old age, meaning more BTL investment over the years. Moreover, the younger part does not seem very enthusiastic towards going down this road.

This has led to the extension (and even removal) of maximum age limit for applying for a commercial BTL mortgage. Not just that. The permitted maximum age criterion at the end of a mortgage has also been revised by the lenders. The commercial mortgage term has also been noticed to have been pushed forward.

For instance, Shine Mortgages has extended the repayment period from 25 to 30 years now, for a commercial mortgage. While the minimum age for eligibility is set at 21 years, there is no maximum ceiling on the age limit of commercial or BTL mortgage applicants.

As a result of this change, it was noticed that as of February 2014, while just 52% of all available mortgages were allowed to mature when the borrower turned 75 years or more, the number raised to 72% by the beginning of 2019. (Source:

The Society Factor

The combination of technology and health sector has led to increased longevity of human beings. The health of people stays in a rather good condition when compared to previous decades. This is a big reason behind the enthusiasm of the older generation wanting to keep working even after the official retirement age.

The Chief Executive at Commercial Trust, Mr. Andrew Turner said,

“Our data indicates that many people reaching retirement are choosing to invest in bricks and mortar and the rental market as a means to fund their retirement years.”

The zeal to earn money does not seem to die that easily. All the delayed dreams and pending bucket lists are being carried out during this time of life. The bent towards investing in commercial buy to let mortgages is a smart move being adapted by senior citizens to have a stable source of income besides their pension benefits.