One in 10 using lifetime mortgages to cover living expenses

Covering day-to-day expenses didn’t register in the top five this time last year.

Related topics:  Later Life,  Lifetime mortgage
Rozi Jones | Editor, Barcadia Media Limited
16th November 2023
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"Given the recent economic landscape, it’s perhaps unsurprising to see more needs-based borrowing taking place among those accessing cash releases or requesting additional funds."

Nearly one in ten people accessing lifetime mortgage drawdown facilities are doing so to pay for their day-to-day living expenses, new data from Pure Retirement shows.

This didn’t register in the top five at all this time last year, and having sat at 11% (and in third place by popularity) in Q2, it’s now dropped to fourth with a 9% share.

Having analysed its loan usage data for Q3, Pure Retirement have uncovered a mixed picture among those who access cash releases or who apply for additional borrowing.

While home improvements have remained a constant top performer across initial advances, cash releases and further advances, a more mixed picture between aspirational and needs-based uses for released funds has emerged among the top five reasons in terms of application proportion, featuring cars and holidays alongside emergency funds and debt repayment.

As with all forms of borrowing – whether initial advances, cash releases, or further advances – home improvements account for the most popular reason for reducing funds.

Holidays, meanwhile, have remained in the second spot but have seen a continued reduction in activity as a proportion of cases – the 13% seen this quarter is 3% down on last year, and 2% down from Q2 this year. Car purchases have maintained the 9% proportion seen in Q2 (down from 10% last year), but have actually risen by one position in terms of popularity from the fourth place seen in Q2.

Gifting has remained stable as a lesser consideration among those who access drawdowns, sitting at fifth place and 6%, neither statistic representing any major change over the past twelve months.

Further advances

Home improvements’ 27% proportion of additional borrowing represents a 3% year-on-year drop, but a 1% increase from Q2. There’s been a 2% quarter-on-quarter rise in the proportion of people using additional equity to create an emergency fund, with the 13% seen in Q3 also a one-position rise to second place in popularity, suggesting an uptick in releasing additional funds out of necessity – however it should also be noted that this also represents a 2% reduction compared to last year.

Holidays have continued to sit mid-table (at around 12%) as a reason for additional borrowing, though it’s dropped a position from the second most popular usage it held in Q2. Gifting, meanwhile, has seen a 1% drop quarter-on-quarter and a 2% drop year-on-year.

In Q3 last year debt repayment held the fifth place position by proportional popularity, but has since been overtaken by car purchases. Having emerged in Q2, it’s remained the fifth most popular reason in Q3, mainly holding stable with only a 1% reduction in that period.

Head of distribution at Pure Retirement, Scott Burman, said: “Given the recent economic landscape, it’s perhaps unsurprising to see more needs-based borrowing taking place among those accessing cash releases or requesting additional funds. However, the mixed picture being presented alongside more aspirational means points to the diverse customer profile that underlines the market’s development in recent years. It also points to the need for a holistic approach when it comes to product development to ensure lifetime mortgages continue to be a potential retirement avenue for as many people as possible, and we’re looking forward to continuing our commitment to that into 2024 and beyond.”

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