Use of reversion plans for house purchase rising

Yuan Phoon

February 8, 2011

The home reversion plan provider said it has seen a threefold, year-on-year increase in the number of their customers opting to use a reversion to fund a home move.

Bridgewater said it witnessed a substantial increase in the number of customers who are opting for reversions in order to fund an “upsize”.

Peter Welch, head of sales and distribution at Bridgewater Equity Release, said: “Many people reach retirement and find, for a variety of reasons, that their current property is not suitable anymore or they want to be closer to their children and grandchildren.

“Others simply want a more manageable property or they wish their last property to be of the very highest standard. At this stage in their lives taking out a mortgage of any kind is not desirable and, indeed, probably not available anyway plus there is an unwillingness to eat into any cash reserves that have been built up.

“This is why we are seeing a rise in the number of retired customers who are opting to fund a new purchase through a home reversion plan as it potentially offers the opportunity to release more value from their home, plus there are no credit or affordability checks and it allows them to stay rent-free in the new property for as long as they wish.

“We certainly expect to see greater numbers of retired individuals opting for this method of finance and it is therefore important that estate agents in particular have strong referral relationships with specialist equity release advisers who will be able to ascertain whether an individual is potentially suitable for such an option.

“Equity release is not suitable for all and the process and the customer responsibilities must be clearly explained at the outset by a professionally qualified individual.

“Having said this, treating one’s property as an asset is becoming less of a taboo in the UK and we believe that the number of people who will be choosing to release equity to fund such moves will only increase in the future. Therefore it is important that specialist knowledge and experience is readily available in order to make the transaction happen.”

Bridgewater were unable to provide sample figures.

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