Key: Industry needs to increase awareness of equity release

Michael Lloyd

November 15, 2019

The industry needs to increase the awareness of other options such as equity release for parents and grandparents to transfer wealth down generations according to Will Hale, chief executive of Key.

ONS data shows that households containing multiple families, which represents 1.1% of all households, were the fastest growing type of household over the last two decades.

These households have increased by three quarters to 297,000 in 2019.

Will Hale, chief executive at Key, said: “When you take a hard look at today’s statistics, they appear to be a stark warning that for many the intergenerational wealth divide continues to grow and that we need to seriously consider how we can tackle this issue.

“Over the past two decades there has been a 46.3% increase in the number of young people aged 20 to 34 years old living with their parents, increasing from 2.4 million in 1999 to 3.5 million in 2019.

“This may be due to increasing rental prices and difficulties getting onto the property ladder.

“At Key, we have seen an increase in parents and grandparents using equity release to access their own property wealth in order to help with deposits for younger family members.

“While this is not a solution for everyone, we need to increase awareness of the options available to people who want to transfer property wealth between the generations.”

The statistics show the number of people living alone has increased by a fifth over the last 20 years, from 6.8 million in 1999 to 8.2 million in 2019.

The majority of this increase is driven by the growth in the numbers of men living alone (72.1%), predominantly aged 45 to 64 years old.

Hale added: “Whether this is through choice or due to a change in circumstances, we know that they may well struggle financially in retirement – and if they are a homeowner, they should be encouraged to explore how they can make best use of all their assets to enjoy a more comfortable standard of living.

“Sitting in an expensive property whilst at the same time struggling to meet basic living costs such as heating and eating makes very little sense and whilst downsizing may be an option for some for others equity release may be the solution.

“To ensure that they make the best possible choices for their circumstances, we would always encourage people to access specialist financial advice provided by a qualified adviser.”

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