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More Australians can now live a more comfortable retirement

13 December 2021

Heartland has increased the maximum loan-to-value ratio (LVR) for our Heartland Reverse Mortgage product, by 5% across each age category. This is the biggest change to our reverse mortgage criteria in over 15 years and comes at a time where more and more retirees are struggling to make ends meet.

Sharon Yardley, our Head of Operations said, “The increase to our LVRs enables Heartland’s customers to have an even further ability to live a more comfortable retirement without having to sell their home, through the ability to access a larger loan”.

“Though the vast majority of Heartland customers only borrow a modest amount, with the average initial LVR for FY2021 being just over 12%, we know that a reverse mortgage can have a transformational impact on quality of retirement. Our change now means reverse mortgages are additionally available to those who require a higher LVR than what was available in the market previously,” said Yardley.

The growing demand for reverse mortgages

With an ageing population, and many being impacted with an increased cost of living and indebtedness in retirement, more and more customers are struggling to make ends meet. 

Around a quarter of Heartland’s loans have mortgages that are refinanced with their Heartland loan at settlement, and in the current low interest rate environment, retirement savings are taking a back seat for many.

“Though initial LVR is usually low, we have seen an increase in the amount kept in reserve facilities for our customers, which shows there is interest in having more funds aside for future needs or unexpected emergencies” explained Yardley. 

According to the Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia, as of September 2021, for a retiree to live a modest lifestyle (with only the basics), they would need $28,775, or $41,446 for a couple. A retiree living alone receiving the maximum basic pension rate receives $882.20 fortnightly, and a couple receives $654.50 each fortnightly. This equates to an annual single person income of $22,576, or $17,017 for each person in a couple. This demonstrates that living a modest, let alone comfortable, lifestyle is often not possible on the pension alone.

Further to this, older Australians wish to age in place – that is, ageing in their current home compared with moving into specialised care, or even moving at all.

Additional financial support is needed to address this demand and allow those aged 60 and over to live more comfortably in retirement. Heartland’s LVR increase will help more people stay in their own homes, age in place and live the retirement they deserve. 

New loan-to-value limits

The maximum LVR is increasing by 5% across each age category, so for example, the new maximum LVR for a 60-year-old is 20% (previously 15%), and a 70-year-old will now be  30% (previously 25%). 

The maximum loan is rarely taken upfront, but typically drawn down progressively via regular advances for up to 10 years, and/or with some held in a cash reserve facility (like a ‘line of credit’) for future needs or unexpected expenditure.

LVR limits are used to determine the maximum amount a customer can borrow, based on their age and the value of their property. Heartland encourages, and has a number of controls in place, to ensure customers only borrow what they need.

Heartland is proud to have helped more than 22,000 Australians to live a more comfortable retirement with our reverse mortgage. 

If you are looking to apply for a new reverse mortgage, please feel free to apply online, or request an Application Pack.

Existing customers may also be able to apply for a further advance due to this change. Please get in touch to discuss your eligibility. 

 

Please note that Heartland encourages our customers only to borrow what they need, and applications are not guaranteed – they are subject to credit criteria, a suitability assessment and acceptable valuation. Independent legal advice will be required. You can also repay your loan, in part or in full, at any time.

Information provided is accurate as of 13 December 2021 and may change from time to time.