"The market for equity release is growing quickly. Over 55s hold the majority of all property wealth in the UK, c.75%."
Knight Frank Finance has launched into the later life lending space, advising on a range of products including equity release and retirement interest-only mortgages.
Knight Frank's mortgage brokerage will now have a dedicated later life team headed by David Forsdyke.
The new team can also provide advice for those who need a short-term solution to help downsize or buy a retirement home.
The number of over-65s living in the UK is forecast to increase by 20% to 14.4 million by 2027 and Knight Frank says the "need to provide suitable financial and housing options for these individuals is more important than ever".
David Forsdyke commented: “The market for equity release is growing quickly. Over 55s hold the majority of all property wealth in the UK, c.75%.
“We are seeing older people look to release equity from their primary residence for a number of reasons, including helping children financially, making home improvements and enhancing their quality of living, or to take the holiday of a lifetime. At the same time, we have seen a steady decline in pensions and savings, with retired people in the UK often finding themselves asset rich, but cash poor.”
Jason Ruse, head of Key Partnerships, added: “Knight Frank estate agents offering later life lending advice is an positive development for the equity release market. Not only does this provide additional customers with access to these products but it highlights to other estate agents the potential in the market. We’ve seen a 285% increase in the number of introducers signing up to offer their clients access to these products between 2016 – 2018 so while not all estate agents will be in a position to copy Knight Frank’s model, they can certainly help their customers.
“In our recent report, ‘Introducing the Introducers’ our findings show 3% of our referrals come from estate agents but we do expect this to grow in the future and hope that Knight Frank’s announcement helps to stimulate interest. As part of our recent brand refresh, we are working to further educate estate agents to the opportunities in the market as equity release can not only be used to help the younger generation with much needed first time buyer deposits but it can also be used by existing home owners to help with their next house purchase.”