Equity Release  

Equity release boom fuelled by stamp duty break

Growing awareness

Stephen Lowe, group communications director at Just Group, said the uptick in equity release usage alongside the stamp duty holiday was “a good example of how modern equity release plans offer customers the flexibility they need”.

But a product like equity release comes with risks of its own. It inhibits a homeowner’s ability to move or downsize after equity is released. And it can impact means-tested benefits in older age, such as free glasses. 

Awareness of equity release seems to be growing incrementally, with 20,270 new and returning customers releasing property wealth between April and June 2021, a rise from 16,527 in Q1 2021 and 13,617 in Q2 2020.

But more2life’s data found almost half (47 per cent) of advisers still consider a lack of consumer awareness about equity release one of the industry’s main obstacles.  

Those working for residential mortgage firms with less than 30 advisers (67 per cent) and generalist IFAs (50 per cent) were most likely to hold this belief, suggesting more still needs to be done to educate over 55s on their options.

ruby.hinchliffe@ft.com