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Derin Clark

Derin Clark

Online Reporter
Published: 24/02/2020

Older mortgage borrowers will be pleased to find that competition within the retirement interest-only mortgage (RIO) market has increased notably over the last year.

Research carried out by found that the number of RIO mortgages has increased by 36 year-on-year, with the number of RIO products now available on the market standing at 74 as a result. While this is a substantial year-on-year growth, it is also a significant rise from when RIO products were first launched in 2018, when just two providers offered five products in total. In addition to this, it is not just products that have increased within this sector, but within the last 12 months six new providers have also entered the market.

Retirement interest-only mortgages 

All fixed and variable rate products Feb 2019 Feb 2020
Number of products  38 74
Number of providers  12 18
Average rate 3.50% 3.47%


What are RIO mortgages?

RIO mortgages are aimed at those in retirement who still making mortgage repayments. They work very much like a standard mortgage product in that borrowers make monthly interest payments, however, there is no set end date or term for the mortgage. Instead, payments continue until either the borrower dies or goes into long-term care, at which point the property is sold to repay the debt.

Commenting on the increase in competition within the RIO market, Eleanor Williams, finance expert at, said: “Historically, many older borrowers who had retired or were shortly due to do so, found it difficult to find a new mortgage deal. When the Financial Conduct Authority reclassified RIOs as mainstream mortgages rather than equity release products in early 2018, a lifeline was thrown to many who may have previously felt trapped or not catered for.

“According to recent research from Ipswich Building Society, 60% of borrowers over the age of 50 felt that there were fewer mortgage products available to them compared to younger mortgage applicants, and more than half believed that they had fewer mortgage providers to choose from.

“It should therefore be welcome news that, as data shows, the RIO mortgage market is continuing to grow. Over the past 12 months alone, not only has the number of providers active in this sector increased (standing at 18 today), but the number of products available has almost doubled to 74 – compared to 38 deals that were on offer in February last year. In addition, the average interest rate charged has also fallen to 3.47%, which is a positive step.

“Those looking to take advantage of a RIO mortgage deal should consider their next steps carefully. Lifetime mortgages and equity release products may also be available, and so seeking independent financial advice could be invaluable in ensuring you select the right product for your circumstances.”

Retirement Interest-Only Mortgages

For more information about Retirement Interest-Only Mortgages or to speak to a broker visit our RIO page.


Information is correct as of the date of publication (shown at the top of this article). Any products featured may be withdrawn by their provider or changed at any time. Links to third parties on this page are paid for by the third party. You can find out more about the individual products by visiting their site. will receive a small payment if you use their services after you click through to their site. All information is subject to change without notice. Please check all terms before making any decisions. This information is intended solely to provide guidance and is not financial advice. Moneyfacts will not be liable for any loss arising from your use or reliance on this information. If you are in any doubt, Moneyfacts recommends you obtain independent financial advice.

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