Buy-to-let investors are getting older, according to new research that shows there was an increase in the number of buy-to-let mortgage applications from 65 to 75-year-olds in 2018.
Specialist broker Commercial Trust Limited found over-55s now account for nearly 40% of all buy-to-let purchase and remortgaging activity, and the share of buy-to-let mortgage applications from 65 to 75-year-olds specifically has seen an increase of more than 5%.
A combination of pension freedoms, a subdued property market and an increased number of buy-to-let products for older people can make property seem like an enticing option, but is investing in buy-to-let in your retirement really a good idea?
Which? weighs up the pros and cons.
Several factors mean conditions are particularly favourable for older investors.
There are four main options on what you can do with your DC pension, including buying an annuity, using pension drawdown, cashing the whole pot in or taking lump sums.
Each has its pros and cons, but if you want to put down a deposit on a buy-to-let property it's likely that you'll either have to cash in the whole pot or take a lump sum - and both are likely to result in a tax bill, as you'll only get 25% of the whole pot or lump sum tax-free.
In a market where property prices are falling month-on-month (there was a drop of 0.6% in February, according to the Land Registry House Price Index), it could be a good time to grab a bargain.
However, with capital growth so low, you'll need to focus on the potential yield you could earn from letting your property.
Research has found that landlords across England and Wales made an average gain of £79,770 in 2018 - and in London this rocketed to £248,000 - according to data from international estate-agent chain Hamptons International.
However, bear in mind that property prices, growth and yields can vary dramatically across regions, towns and even in the same street.
Analysing the latest Moneyfacts data, we found that of the 2,151 buy-to-let products currently on the market, 52% of the deals have a maximum age at the end of the term of 85 or above, and 19% have no maximum age limit at all.
Since 2016's EU referendum, financial advice website Moneyfacts data has shown the average rate on a fixed-rate buy-to-let mortgage has dropped by almost half a percent, which could be great news for potential investors.
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If the only income you're relying on is your pension, you may want to consider whether you'll still be able to afford a buy-to-let mortgage if this takes place.
While we've outlined a few reasons why the current market could present financial opportunities for older buy-to-let investors, letting a property is no longer a surefire way of making a return.
All of these could lead to slimmer profit margins, possibly making you more vulnerable to losses.
David Blake, principal adviser at Which? Mortgage Advisers, says: 'As with any buy-to-let investment, it's really important investors have contingency funds in place in case the property isn't let for a period of time.'
There are a number of other factors to consider before investing your pension: