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Wealthier borrowers twice as likely to gift equity release funds to friends or family

Nick Cheek
Written By:
Nick Cheek

Wealthier borrowers are twice as likely to gift equity release proceeds, whilst less affluent borrowers are more likely to use the funds to repay unsecured borrowers, up income or improve their homes.

According to Standard Life Home Finance, which collated 503 responses from those aged 55 and over who have considered equity release and those who have taken out a plan, around 29% of those whose income was over £60,000 per year would offer financial support to friends and family.

This compared to 15% of those whose incomes are up to £20,000.

Overall, the most common reason for taking out an equity release plan across all incomes was to ‘age-proof’ their homes.

Around 43% of those with an annual income of up to £20,000 used equity release for ‘age-proofing’, compared to 31% whose annual income was over £60,000.

The report added that 42% of those with an annual income of £60,000 or more used equity release to repay mortgages, compared to 33% of those with under £20,000.

There was also a difference with inheritance tax planning, with 18% of those earning £60,000 or more versus 1% of those on £20,000 or less.

Interest-only mortgage repayment

Potential customers were more likely to repay an interest-only mortgage, 17% versus 14%, estate planning, 10% versus 7%, and extra monthly income, 15% compared to 14%, than actual customers.

Kay Westgarth, director of sales at Standard Life Home Finance, said: “Equity release has always been a multi-use product with customers often choosing to use their housing equity to fulfil a range of needs and desires.

“This research highlights the positive impact that these products can have on people with a range of incomes.”

She added: “Whether you are wealthier and want to support your loved ones or less affluent and looking to clear your unsecured borrowing and boost your income, there are many options and product flexibilities.”