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Home improvements most popular use for equity release funds

Nick Cheek
Written By:
Nick Cheek

Home improvements are the most popular reason for releasing additional funds from a lifetime mortgage at over 54%.

According to Legal and General Home Finance’s equity release drawdown data, homeowners are drawing down their property wealth to make long-term improvements and upgrade their property’s energy efficiency.

This could include installing double-glazed windows, installing insulation or replacing boilers.

In the first three months of the year, Legal and General Home Finance said a quarter of existing customers drew down funds to supplement and support everyday living expenses.

The lender said new customers released 24% of equity from their homes on average, meaning customers could access more than £74,000 from a lifetime mortgage.

Gifting to younger generations remains a popular use at around 9%, with around 13% of new applications citing the reason for taking out a lifetime mortgage as gifting.

New application data shows that nearly a quarter use equity release drawdown for paying off an existing mortgage.

Home improvements and living inheritances

Craig Brown, Legal and General Home Finance’s chief executive, said: “For those nearing or at retirement, accessing wealth tied up in the home can play a significant part of later life planning and for many people, property is their most substantial asset, even with recent challenges in the market.”

He added: “Our data shows lifetime mortgages are playing an important role in long-term financial planning and that making a home comfortable and sustainable in the long term continues to be a popular use for funds.

“We also know that many people see releasing equity from their property as a way to provide a ‘living inheritance,’ with the opportunity to see loved ones benefit from the money when they need it most.”

“It’s important to note that equity release is a lifelong financial commitment and won’t be suitable for everyone. Anyone considering applying for a lifetime mortgage must speak to a financial adviser to be clear about all the options available to them,” Brown noted.