The largest mutual launched its range of three products in April, following member feedback, the perceived gap in the market and in response to the changing demographic, with distribution through its specialist team of in-house mortgage consultants.
A spokesperson said: “However, this does not mean we would not consider offering the products more widely in future and through other channels.”
Nationwide funds the range, Pure Retirement services it and oversees the valuation element of the mortgage application process.
Commentators suggest with a strong marketing push, given their reach and trusted brand, the mutual could leapfrog other equity release lenders in an already long-established and fast-growing market, with more than £1.18bn lent in Q1 this year.
The products for borrowers aged 55 and above include a retirement capital and interest (RCI) mortgage, a retirement interest-only product and a lifetime product, with eligibility assessed simultaneously across the range.
The RIO and RCI product rates are aligned, with a maximum loan to value (LTV) of 50 per cent and start at 2.74 per cent for tracker products, while the fixed rates start at 2.99 per cent, with no advice or product fees.
The lifetime mortgage offers a fixed rate for life starting at 3.41 per cent, with no fees and £1,000 cashback that can be used toward legal costs.
Applicants must both be 55 if applying jointly, and borrow up to age 85, or 95 for existing Nationwide mortgage members.
Jason Hurwood, Nationwide’s director of home propositions, said: “We are now the first major high street lender to support [a] growing demand with a variety of borrowing options to access the value locked up in their homes and is part of our ongoing plan to address the needs of a changing and ageing population, whatever their individual choices.”
On why the high street lender was happy to go out with later life lending products first, a spokesperson said: “As a building society, we regularly reflect on how needs are changing, while making sure our products remain relevant, useful and sustainable over the long term. With people living longer there’s a growing need for later life borrowing options to support those in or approaching retirement, whose wealth is often largely tied up in their property.