Equity release set to be used more widely

Research undertaken among consumers of all age groups highlights the fact that while some of today’s pensioners might be able to rely on income from pensions, investments and benefits, going forward more and more retirees realise the critical role their property will play in retirement.

The research – undertaken to coincide with the launch of The Council (formerly SHIP) – reveals that while expected reliance on property decreases with age as people build up other assets, over half (55%) of today’s 55-64s still believe it will play some part in their retirement finances.

The most common way people would consider accessing the value in their homes would be via downsizing (45%) followed by renting out a room (10%) and then equity release (7%).

In practical terms, this means that in 2017 over 59,000 retirees will be looking at what role equity release can play in their retirement financing.

Those who have a second property such as a buy-to-let investment or holiday home might consider renting out the property for income (17%) or selling the property (7%) if they needed to improve their retirement finances.  

Nigel Waterson, Chairman of The Equity Release Council, said: "This research clearly shows that more and more people are considering using their property as part of their retirement finances.  This might mean choosing to downsize, rent a room out or use equity release – or any combination of the above.

"With such a heavy potential reliance on the equity tied up in UK residential property, it is vital that consumers receive accurate information and access to specialist advice and products which have excellent safeguards.

"Therefore we are delighted to launch The Equity Release Council which for the first time will look to bring together all aspects of this industry to promote the highest standards of consumer protection and education."

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