More than a third of over-55s still have mortgage

Ryan Fowler

July 18, 2016

More than one in three equity release customers are still have a mortgage which they are paying off, according to research from Bower Retirement Services. 

Its study found 36% of over-55s seen by advisers are still paying home loans and advisers are seeing a surge of inquiries from customers with interest-only loans.

It also found that 68% of equity release specialists have seen a rise in customers with interest-only loans looking for solutions.

Advisers are also reporting an increase in customers who have considered downsizing as a solution but then decided not to go ahead.

Almost a quarter (23%) of clients who looked at downsizing did not go ahead with key reasons including staying near family and friends and not being able to find a suitable home.

Around 75% of those who did not go ahead said they wanted to stay near family while 54% could not find a suitable home.

Andrea Rozario, chief corporate officer at Bower Retirement Services said: “Significant numbers of people aged over-55 are paying off mortgages but do not have the range of options they need.

“Downsizing will be appropriate for many but it is also clear that many want to stay in their existing home for emotional and financial reasons and should be able to do so as long as it is in their best interests.”

One potential problem for clients is their home not being worth what they thought – around 18% of advisers say clients who went ahead with equity release found their house was valued at lower than they had expected.

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