Sharp increase in mortgage applications from over-55-year-olds
The number of mortgage applications from people over the age of 55 increased by nearly 25 percent in the last quarter of 2019. More than half applied to increase or refinance their mortgage to renovate or make their home more sustainable, according to figures De Hypotheker released on Tuesday.
The climbing trend in mortgage applications from this age group continued in the first months of this year. In January, applications were up 17.6 percent compared to the same month last year. In February the increase was even 33 percent compared to the year before.
De Hypotheker attributes the increase mainly to the low interest rates. Many homeowners have a surplus value on their homes due to the sharp increase in home prices, and by refinancing their homes at the current low rates, they can lower the monthly housing costs. For these same reasons, it is a good time to increase or refinance a mortgage for home renovations and the like, according to De Hypotheker.
The number of mortgage applications as a whole also increased in the fourth quarter, coming out 16 percent higher than in the third quarter of 2019.. In January the total number of mortgage applications rose by 7.1 percent compared to the same month last year, and in February the increase was 23.7 percent compared to the year before.
"It is not uncommon that there is a peak in the number of mortgage applications at the start of a new year, but we have not seen such a sharp increase before," Menno Luiten of De Hypotheker said. "Many older homeowners choose to take out a mortgage or renovate their homes. In addition, the mortgage interest rates have fallen again in recent weeks. This has a positive effect on the monthly costs when buying a home or refinancing the mortgage."