Consumers unaware of lifetime mortgage options

Nia Williams

November 27, 2013

The survey, which was conducted among 128 lifetime qualified advisers, also found that 94% of advisers said that the majority of their clients who have had equity release explained to them fully are surprised by how flexible it can be.

Fifteen per cent of those surveyed were aware that interest can be paid on the equity release products in full or in part and only 6% of clients were not surprised at the flexibility of the product.

Choosing to pay off at least a portion of the interest throughout the duration of the loan saves money in the long-run and negates the erosive effects of compound interest.

Paying interest in full can save consumers thousands of pounds, according to Stonehaven. For example, if a homeowner takes out a £50,000 loan using a lifetime mortgage on their property and pays back £50 a month they could save over £17,146 over 24 years.

In recent years lifetime mortgages have become an increasingly innovative and flexible solution for older homeowners who are looking to unlock cash from their properties whether for their own needs or to provide support for their families.

Lifetime mortgages are now being used to tackle many financial planning priorities including: upsizing on new home purchases, Bank of Mum and Dad – first-time buyers, clearing existing interest-only mortgages, inheritance tax planning and retirement planning.

Georgina Smith, managing director, Stonehaven, said: “The lifetime mortgage market is growing and older homeowners are increasingly aware of this flexible and innovative financial solution.

“Lifetime mortgages are an effective solution for a growing number of over 55s who want to enhance their lifestyle or release the equity in their homes to help their children. Others are looking for a flexible option to bridge the retirement income gap and help them attain or continue the lifestyle they have been accustomed to while they were working.

“The reasons for over 55s choosing lifetime mortgages has changed over the years and our products have naturally evolved to suit these emerging needs.

“However, perceptions of the industry still have a long way to go and through our support programmes for advisers we are hoping to raise the awareness of the benefits of a lifetime mortgage and help their clients to better understand the flexibility and options offered by the product.”

Sign up to our daily email