6 in 10 homeowners aged over 55 say they would never consider equity release

Six out of 10 homeowners aged over 55 say they would never consider equity release, according to new research.

Independent mortgage, insurance and equity release brokerage Boon Brokers questioned almost 1,000 homeowners aged over 55. Fifty-seven per cent are adamant they would never take out an equity release product on their home – yet two thirds admit they aren’t really clear what it is (67%).

One in 10 (9%) admitted they were worried about negative equity and 22% were concerned that they would no longer own their own home – neither of which have to be an issue with modern equity release products. Only 8% understood the difference between a lifetime mortgage and a home reversion plan, the two types of equity release available. One in five (18%) said they had been put off equity release due to horror stories they had heard or read about.

Gerard Boon, founder and partner at Boon Brokers, said: “This research shows there’s a very high level of misunderstanding about modern equity release products. People automatically dismiss it due to its reputation and admittedly, in the past, there were products which weren’t fit for purpose and which were mis-sold. But now the industry is regulated and the products are much more refined, equity release can be really useful for homeowners in all kinds of situations. It’s important to choose a product which is covered by the Equity Release Council and getting good advice is vital – and in fact a legal requirement – so the terms are properly understood. But for those wanting to access money held in property, to cover living costs, to help family, for home improvements or to travel, it can be ideal.”

The research also revealed that those aged 55-64 are more likely to consider equity release than those over 65 (52% vs 61%). Homeowners in the North of England and Wales are least likely when compared to other areas of the country, whilst Northern Ireland and Scotland were most receptive to the idea.

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