Equity Release  

Younger borrowers predicted to drive equity release growth

Younger borrowers predicted to drive equity release growth
 Credit: Joe Giddens/PA Wire

More than half of advisers think the average age of equity release customers will decrease alongside predictions of growth in the market, according to research by Canada Life.

A November survey of 134 advisers qualified to sell equity release found 57 per cent thought the average customer age would get younger.

The average age of a new drawdown lifetime mortgage customer was 69.8 in the first half of 2020 according to the Equity Release Council, while the average age of a new lump sum lifetime mortgage customer was 68.5.

While the survey also found four in 10 advisers (42 per cent) saw growth in their equity release book during 2020, 62 per cent expected the market to return to pre-Covid levels by the second quarter of next year.

Figures from the Equity Release Council for Q3 2020 showed the market was beginning to show signs of recovery after lockdown, although activity was still down year-on-year.

According to Canada Life’s research, the main drivers of demand for equity release next year include increased awareness and “comfort” with equity release among homeowners (59 per cent), the impact of Covid-19 on family finances (58 per cent) and insufficient pensions savings (50 per cent).

Alice Watson, head of marketing, insurance at Canada Life, said: “Advisers are clearly anticipating a growth in demand driven by both improved awareness of equity release and families reassessing their finances in light of the pandemic.

“Predictions around a shift in customer age and increase in loan size, point to a move in how homeowners view their home as a financial asset much like pensions or Isas.

“The world is changing around us, but closer to home we need to consider how best to use our overall wealth to provide the secure financial futures we seek. Advisers are best placed to show clients how to plan for that future.”

chloe.cheung@ft.com

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