Increasing number of homeowners not understanding equity release

An increasing number of people still don’t understand equity release, despite recent figures showing that £2.8bn in lifetime mortgages was lent by the end of the third quarter of 2019, new research by Canada Life revealed.

The latest findings showed that 15% of UK homeowners said they wouldn’t use equity release to fund their retirement because they don’t understand it, a three-fold increase on the 5% who said this in 2016.

In response to the new findings, and to help UK homeowners better understand equity release, Canada Life has launched a new Equity Release Explained brochure.

Canada Life said that this addresses some of the common misperceptions around equity release, which includes the fear of losing control over a home or property. The research found this continued to be the most popular reason why homeowners don’t use equity release, with 21% suggesting this, a 2% increase compared to the same research in 2016.

Canada Life head of marketing and communications, Alice Watson, said: “Despite lifetime mortgages becoming increasingly popular, we know from conversations with advisers that some people are put off the product because of comments by friends or family members, some of whom might inadvertently share incorrect or outdated information.

“To make more people aware of how lifetime mortgages work, and how they have evolved in recent years, it’s clear that the industry needs to work harder to address consumers’ myths and misconceptions.

“That is why we have launched a brochure for friends and family members, which outlines the key information about lifetime mortgages that people can share with those closest to them.

“Advisers are also crucial to combating consumer misconceptions. Providing them with the support they need will better enable them to dispel consumer myths and provide customers with the right product for their needs.”

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