Home Property Finance & InvestmentMortgages More than half of mortgage borrowers now opt for a 30-year mortgage or longer 

More than half of mortgage borrowers now opt for a 30-year mortgage or longer 

13th May 24 4:03 pm

Uswitch has partnered with online mortgage advisors Mojo Mortgages to uncover how the average mortgage term lengths have changed in the last few years.

In 2021, 41% of mortgage borrowers chose a term of 30 years or longer, however, this increased to over half (51%) last year.

In fact, an increase in the term lengths has been seen across all residential purchase and remortgage customers, as well as buy-to-let purchase customers.

Kellie Steed, the mortgage expert at Uswitch said: “According to the Zoopla house price index, the current average property value in the UK is £264,500, which means someone on an average salary (£34,900) would need to borrow more than 7 times their annual salary to take out a large enough mortgage to buy it. The vast majority of lenders cap their lending way below this, at around 4-5 times annual income.

“It’s unsurprising, therefore, that many are resorting to ‘mammoth mortgage’ terms in order to stretch their affordability to the absolute maximum. However, first-time buyers are not the only ones affected. There has been a less significant, but certain increase in average mortgage term lengths across the board since the Bank of England base rate began to rise in December 2021.”

‘Mammoth mortgages’: How does extending the term aid affordability month-to-month?

Kellie Steed, the mortgage expert at Uswitch said: “Put simply, the longer your mortgage term, the smaller your monthly repayments. Borrowing the same amount over a longer term stretches your affordability, potentially reducing unaffordable monthly repayments to affordable ones.

“After analysing Mojo Mortgages’ data, we can reveal that in 2023, the average first-time buyer borrowed £189,693 at an interest rate of 5.27, over a term length of 29 years. Their monthly mortgage repayments stood at £1,065.

“However, if they were to extend their mortgage terms to 40 years, this would decrease their mortgage payments by £116 per month.”

A mortgage expert explains the pros and cons of ‘mammoth’ mortgage lengths 

Kellie Steed, the mortgage expert at Uswitch said: “With mortgages, the shorter the term, the less interest you’ll pay overall, no matter what interest rate you’re able to get. For example, even in the days of 1% mortgage interest rates, paying 1% interest over 35 years will clearly result in paying more than 1% interest over 25 years.

“That said, interest rates are typically in the region of 4-8%+ these days, depending on your circumstances and the mortgage type, so that additional 10 years of repaying interest will make a much more significant difference in what you pay overall.”


  • It aids affordability, stretching your income to maybe afford a more costly property, or allowing you to buy one sooner
  • In the case of remortgaging, it could reduce your monthly outgoings, or potentially allow you to remortgage where rate hikes have impacted your affordability


  • The longer the term, the more interest you pay
  • Longer terms increase the likelihood of repaying your mortgage into retirement
  • Taking out the maximum term length at the beginning of a mortgage leaves less wiggle room if you need to extend it to aid affordability down the line
  • Repaying the loan more slowly means your equity (ownership in the property) also grows more slowly – this could increase the risk of falling into negative equity, which is where you owe more than your property is currently worth

If a mammoth mortgage term is my only option, should I wait? 

the mortgage expert at Uswitch said: “In some cases, waiting until you can manage a shorter mortgage term may allow you to save money overall. However, life isn’t usually straightforward and waiting won’t be an option for everyone.

“It’s a good idea to seek advice from a mortgage expert, however, when determining the pros and cons of taking out a very long mortgage term. They’ll be able to assess your individual circumstances and recommend your best way forward, whether you decide it’s best to wait or not. “

Do I have any other options than to extend my mortgage term?

the mortgage expert at Uswitch said: “Anything that increases your affordability will also increase the risk in borrowing, as you’re stretching the limits of what you can comfortably repay in one way or another. However, there are other ways to aid affordability beyond simply taking out a longer mortgage.”

These include:

  • Joint mortgages – Some lenders will consider the income of up to 4 applicants on one mortgage. This could be useful in a house share, or buy-to-let partnership scenario
  • Homeownership schemes, such as shared ownership, deposit unlock and rent-to-buy
  • Using guarantor, family assisted or JBSP (joint borrower sole proprietor) mortgages, all of which allow family or friends to aid your affordability in one way or another when you take out a mortgage

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