Equity release should be a key tool in a brokers’ toolbox

John Phillips

February 20, 2019

John Phillips, operations director, Just Mortgages and Spicerhaart

In 2018, older homeowners released almost £4bn from the value of their homes; a 29% increase on 2017 and the equivalent of almost £11m a day.

And with a generation that is living longer, leading more active lives but finding their pensions are not sufficient to fund their retirement, housing wealth is only going to become more key to later-life finance planning.

And it is not just later-life financial planning that can be supported by equity release. Many older homeowners are using the value if their homes to help younger generations too.

According to a recent survey by Canada Life, while home improvements are the most popular use for equity release cash, one in six used the money they released to ‘gift’ to family.

Downsizing is also an option when it comes to releasing equity from your home, but with the costs associated with moving – stamp duty, solicitors fees etc. – and the emotional cost of losing the family home, equity release is increasingly becoming the solution of choice. In fact, a SunLife survey found that despite being worse off than they thought they would be in later life, 55% of homeowners over 55 said they loved their homes and would never move.

So it is clear that equity release is here to stay, which means all mortgage brokers should have it within their proposition.

Clients need the best advice possible from their brokers, so brokers need to be able to recommend equity release as part of the process, if that is the best solution for their client.

Otherwise, we could face a situation where brokers get complaints further down the line for not advising equity release when in fact, it would have offered the best solution for their financial needs.

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