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One in five older homeowners mulls equity release

Christina Hoghton
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Christina Hoghton

Rising house prices have meant homeowners have built up more equity, and some are thinking of unlocking that property wealth

One in five (19%) over-50s are considering equity release, according to OneFamily.

The financial services company said the sector is set to grow, as rising house prices have given older homeowners more equity in their homes. Nearly half (46%) said they’re thinking about unlocking property wealth because of the increasing value of their property.

It added that 5% of over-50s have already taken an average of £46k out of the value of their property in the past year.

But there is some concern around spending on luxury items, as rising prices lead to caution from older homeowners.

Overall, 56% say they are currently nervous about spending on luxuries due to the cost-of-living crisis. A third (32%) have seen their savings drop over the last 12 months as they cope with increased costs. On average, those who saw their savings decrease saw a shortfall of £6,297. Meanwhile, 8% have run out of savings entirely.

Matthew Ellis, head of OneFamily Advice, said: “With rising house values, tens of thousands have turned to equity release to allow them to enjoy more leisure experiences, renovate their homes or to pay off debts that will improve their financial situation in the long-term.

“In some instances, equity release is enabling people to make adaptions to their property that will allow them to stay in the familiar surroundings of their own home rather than having to downsize to a retirement flat.

“However, equity release isn’t right for every situation, and we would recommend caution in using it as a means to cover shortfalls caused by the cost-of-living crisis. But speaking to a specialist equity release adviser is always an essential first step in understanding whether equity release can help in reducing their money worries and making their lives more comfortable.”