House price affordability is making people buy their first house later in life, over a longer term, meaning that many future pensioners will still be repaying mortgage debt into old age. A study by the International Longevity Centre-UK, supported by the Building Societies Association has predicted that mortgage debt will increase from £20.1 billion to £39.9 billion.

Gone are the days that people would buy their first house in their 20s, trade up for a family sized property in their 30s and 40s, and have paid off their debt into their 50s. Low wage growth, rising house prices, lower housing stocks, greater student debt and tighter lending conditions have all taken their toll. UK homeownership has fallen for people aged 20-29 from 53 per cent, before the financial crisis, to 38 per cent today. In the same period for those aged 30-39 it’s fallen from 73 per cent to 65 per cent.

Paul Broadhead, head of Mortgage Policy at the BSA said: “The focus must be on adapting to a changing market. We must also respond as an industry to reflect the changing needs of customers. This will include an increasingly intergenerational approach to homeownership, as parents and grandparents borrow to release some of their housing wealth to support the younger generation. It is the combination of multiple factors that will drive greater levels of mortgage borrowing in later life."