Equity Release

Homeowners look to equity release to avoid moving home

Christina Hoghton
Written By:
Christina Hoghton

Outdoor space and room for family to stay over are both key reasons why older homeowners want to stay put

Over-50s are increasingly using equity release to avoid moving out of their forever home, according to new research from OneFamily.

The financial provider found that the pandemic has made 76% of over-50s less likely to move out of their homes. Having a garden during lockdown and gaining a new appreciation for their home has influenced the decision to stay for life.

A majority – 60% – of over-50s say they are unlikely to move out of their home in the future.

Instead, almost a quarter (24%) of those who aren’t looking to move are considering equity release to help them adapt their forever homes and avoid needing to downsize or relocate.

Room for family

Family ties have influenced many in deciding to stay put in their existing home. One in four (23%) over-50s want space at home for loved ones to visit, after being apart during the last 18 months, while a fifth (21%) want to remain in their current house in order to pass it on to family someday.

High house prices (10%), as well as the hassle and cost of moving (31%) are also major influences on the decision not to leave the family home.

Paul Bridgwater, head of products at OneFamily, said: “One side effect of the pandemic is that homeowners have grown more attached to where they are living. Whether that’s down to having appreciated access to green space, or more intangible factors like family ties and memories attached to a home, our research suggests people seem to be more reluctant to look into downsizing or relocating than they were before.

“But staying in a forever home can mean extra expenses. As such, we may be set to see a rise in equity release uptake to fund renovations and adjustments to improve or adapt homes to allow for the more complex needs of later life.

“Taking out equity release is a decision to be weighed up carefully with input from family members. It won’t be the right solution for everyone but if this trend for staying in the family home continues to grow, advisers will play a key role in helping over-50s explore their options and make the right choices.”