Equity release funds 46 first-time home buyers a week

According to analysis by Canada Life Home Finance, family members taking out equity release helped 46 first-time buyers a week onto the housing ladder in 2018.

The company estimates that one in thirty-four (2.9%) of the 82,791 equity release customers in 2018 used the money to help first-time buyers secure a home. Canada Life’s customer information shows a slight increase in the percentage of customers who unlocked the value of their home to support first-time buyers in 2018 compared to 2017 (2.9% vs 2.6%).

Alice Watson, Head of Marketing and Communications at Canada Life Home Finance, said:

“The equity release market continues to grow, as more people approaching or in retirement become open to the benefits these products can offer them and their families. Rising property prices can cause older homeowners to worry about how their loved ones will get onto the housing ladder. Many are increasingly aware of the intergenerational benefits of unlocking their own property wealth to help the younger generation secure their first home."

“As always, it is important that people consult a professional financial adviser before using equity release in this way, as it won’t be suitable for everyone and may affect their tax position.”

Canada Life’s data shows that home improvements remains the most popular reason to take out equity release in 2018, with almost half (48%) of customers putting the money towards enhancing their home and garden.

Alice Watson continues:

“The younger generation can also benefit from the fact that equity release is often used to enhance people’s existing properties. Though this is a less direct means of support, home improvements increase the value of the property, meaning there is likely to be a larger pot of money available in future that could be drawn on to provide a much-needed deposit or a living inheritance.”