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Equity release surge fueled by borrowers repaying existing mortgage

Paloma Kubiak
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Paloma Kubiak

Clearing an existing mortgage was the top reason cited by customers for taking out equity release, making it the fifth consecutive year it has taken the top slot.

Nearly half (49%) of customers said they were looking to use equity release to repay their existing mortgage, according to data from Canada Life. This is up from 46% in 2021 and 45% in 2020.

Around a third (32%), said they would use equity release for home improvements, which is down from 34% in 2021 and 37% in 2020.

A fifth of customers said they would use it for day-to-day living, which is in line with figures last year.

A lesser 16% said they would use the money to consolidate existing debt, a decrease from 18% in 2021 and 2020 respectively.

Canada Life said the figures suggest that the cost-of-living crisis meant equity release was being used to improve financial situations.

Around 15% said they would use it for a holiday. This is a return to the top five for this motivation, which took fifth slot again in 2020 but fell out of favour in 2021.

Alice Watson, head of marketing communications at Canada Life UK, said: “Customers continue to use equity release in a wide variety of ways, from home improvements to consolidation to paying off existing mortgage borrowing.

“As the ongoing cost-of-living crisis unfolds, many customers are taking stock of their finances, including the wealth tied up in their homes.”

She added: “The variety of motivations for releasing equity highlight the flexibility and accessibility of the options available, allowing homeowners to enjoy their retirements in a way that best suits them and their families.

“However, equity release is a lifelong financial decision, so it’s vital people seek the help of a financial adviser and discuss their decision with their loved ones before taking out a product.”