80% of over-55s opt for equity release over moving, survey finds

Eighty per cent of over-55s would opt for equity release instead of moving home, according to new research commissioned by Standard Life and leading equity release broker, Age Partnership.

An online survey amongst 1,084 UK adults to have taken out equity release also found that 71% of over-55s claimed the ‘no negative equity’ guarantee influenced their decision to take out equity release.

Standard Life highlighted that all equity release plans approved by the Equity Release Council include the ‘no negative equity’ guarantee which ensures those releasing equity will never owe more than their homes value.

The research also revealed that almost one in 10 respondents suggested the reason they chose not to downsize was because of the cost associated with moving – including stamp duty.

In 2018, the average cost to buy and sell a property in the UK was £10,210 which included an average bill of £1,800 for stamp duty, Standard Life added.

Standard Life head of customer communications, Laura Laidlaw, said: “For an increasing number of people, property – often the home they live in – could be the answer to freeing up extra money. Either to supplement income in later life, or to gift to loved ones.

“Our research would suggest that the emotional aspect of remaining in your home is what leads many to opt for equity release. A lack of supply, the pressure of moving and the costs of downsizing mean for many, it is not always a practical choice.

“While downsizing can work in both a practical and financial sense for some, the ‘no negative equity’ guarantee means remaining in your home is a viable choice for many looking to use the value of their property to support their lifestyle in later life.”

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