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Home improvements are main use of equity release

This explains why more than half (56%) of those using the Saga Equity Release Advice Service spend a proportion of the money to make home improvements. On average they release around £10,000 for this, which suggests the money is for more than just a lick of paint.

Further research from Saga shows over 3.7million over 50s could be planning significant alterations to their home over the next 12 months and the most popular alterations are new kitchens and bathrooms (31%).

Nearly half (47%) of over 50s are making these major alterations to modernise their home.

Many people want to increase the size of their home by either converting a loft to make room for their grandchildren (13%) or building an extension so they are better equipped for entertaining guests (10%).

Other reasons for releasing equity include clearing debts (32%), new cars (24%) and holidays (33%). It is likely to be for the holiday of a lifetime as on average they released around £6000 for this purpose.

Roger Ramsden, Chief Executive, Saga Services said: "While releasing equity from the home isn’t for everyone, it can help people make improvements so they can stay in their home as they get older. This is evident from the one in ten over 50s who are adapting their home to suit their needs as they get older."

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