Equity release lender more 2 life has urged the government to raise awareness among retirees of the potential uses of housing equity in the Autumn Budget announcement.
The government has signaled the inclusion of equity release information as part of its Single Financial Guidance Body offering but more 2 life said older homeowners need sufficient guidance to make informed choices.
Dave Harris, chief executive at more 2 life, said: “To prevent increasing numbers from being forced to falling back onto state support, people must consider how housing equity can be used to meet these costs.
“The fact that the Single Financial Guidance body will reference equity release is certainly a step towards this goal but further education is needed. “
As part of its Autumn Budget ‘wish list’, the lender also called for greater investment in affordable housing suitable for older consumers wishing to downsize. Research from the lender last year revealed that over half (52%) of retirees hadn’t downsized due to a lack of suitably sized properties available on the market.
The research also found that 20% of retirees said they hadn’t been able to downsize due to high stamp duty costs. As such, more 2 life is also urging the government to review stamp duty for ‘last-time buyers’ as part of this year’s Budget.
Harris added: “Education alone may not be enough and we need to consider other steps such as a commitment to increase the number of affordable housing options for older people and an end to stamp duty for ‘last time buyers’.
“Not only would this encourage movement within the housing market but it would allow older borrowers to access some of the wealth tied up in their properties to meet their own retirement costs or provide a financial boost for the younger generation.”