Later Life

Number of homeowners who don't understand equity release triples since 2016

15% of UK homeowners say they wouldn’t use equity release to fund their retirement because they don’t understand it.

Rozi Jones
|
2nd December 2019
piggy bank maze confused money
"It’s clear that the industry needs to work harder to address consumers’ myths and misconceptions."

An increasing number of people still don’t understand equity release, according to research from Canada Life.

15% of UK homeowners say they wouldn’t use equity release to fund their retirement because they don’t understand it. This is a three-fold increase on 2016 (5%) and makes a lack of customer understanding the second most popular reason for not using equity release in 2019.

The fear that you will lose control over your home or property continues to be the most popular reason why homeowners don’t use equity release (21%), which is a two percentage point increase compared to 2016.

Yet while some homeowners have misunderstandings and misperceptions about equity release, two in five (40%) people say they are likely to use the equity accumulated in their home or property in the future.

Alice Watson, head of marketing and communications at Canada Life Home Finance, said: “Despite lifetime mortgages becoming increasingly popular, we know from conversations with advisers that some people are put off the product because of comments by friends or family members, some of whom might inadvertently share incorrect or outdated information.

“To make more people aware of how lifetime mortgages work, and how they have evolved in recent years, it’s clear that the industry needs to work harder to address consumers’ myths and misconceptions. That is why we have launched a brochure for friends and family members, which outlines the key information about lifetime mortgages that people can share with those closest to them.
“Advisers are also crucial to combatting consumer misconceptions. Providing them with the support they need will better enable them to dispel consumer myths and provide customers with the right product for their needs.

“It’s good news for the industry that so many homeowners expect to tap into their property wealth, helping to sustain market growth and bring the lifetime mortgage market that bit closer to mainstream financial planning.”

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