Over-55s in South three times more likely to use equity release as those in North

South West England, the South East and London account for almost half (46%) of all equity release cases, new research published by more2life has revealed.

This compares to the North East, North West and Yorkshire, which saw three times fewer cases in 2020/21 – 15% of the UK total.

Using equity release for property purchase was most popular in the South East, accounting for almost a quarter (23%) of all cases, followed by the South West (16%). The least popular areas for house purchases through equity release proved to be the North East (2%), followed by Wales (2%) and Scotland (5%) – which the equity release lender suggested could be due to more modest house prices.

However, more2life found that while the use of equity release for property purchase appeared to be driven by the need to manage higher average house prices in the South West (£307,030), South East (£408,701) and London (£775,185), borrowers in the North East (£192,214) did take out the highest average loan to value (31%).

The findings also revealed that the South West (29%), East Midlands (29%), Scotland (28%) and the East (27%) also boasted higher LTVs than the UK Average (26%). more2life said that this could suggest some areas with buoyant property markets may have over-55s in need of a boost more than others.

more2life CEO, Dave Harris, commented: “While the stamp duty holiday has come to a close, today’s figures highlight the important role equity release has played in helping people find their forever home.

“This is never easy – especially if you need to find a property that has been adapted or can be in future – but equity release can provide the boost that people need in order to achieve this.

“Although higher house prices in London, the South West and the South East have seen more customers in these regions choosing this option, we have seen the benefits right across the country. For some, it means finding their dream property while for others it means moving closer to family or amenities that support what they want to do in retirement.”

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