• 80% opted for Equity Release instead of moving
  • Nearly one in ten opt for equity release for cost reasons
  • No negative equity guarantee an important factor for 71%

Wanting to stay in their own home rather than downsizing led to the majority (80%) of over 55s questioned to opt for equity release instead of moving home, according to new research from Standard Life and Age Partnership.

In addition, in the survey of more than 1,000 UK adults who have taken out equity release, nearly one in ten (9%) said the reason they chose not to downsize was because of the cost associated with moving including stamp duty. In 2018 the average cost to buy and sell a property in the UK was £10,2101, this includes an average bill of £1,800 for Stamp Duty.

Laura Laidlaw, Head of Customer Communications at Standard Life said: “For an increasing number of people, property – often the home they live in – could be the answer to freeing up extra money. Either to supplement income in later life or to gift to loved ones.

“Our research would suggest that the emotional aspect of remaining in your home is what leads many to opt for equity release. A lack of supply, the pressure of moving and the costs of downsizing mean for many, it is not always a practical choice.”

1 https://mybigmove.co.uk/cost-of-moving-house2

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Standard Life and Age Partnership customers were emailed with an invitation that contained a link to an online survey. 1,084 customers took part the survey.

Notes to editors

Standard Life announced its entry into the equity release market in a partnership with retirement finance specialists Age Partnership in March 2019.

What is equity release?

  • It’s a way of accessing the money from your home without having to move. It’s available to homeowners aged 55 or over with a property worth at least £70,000.
  • With a lifetime mortgage, the most popular form of equity release, you continue to own 100% of your own home.
  • You have the option of not making repayments, as the money you release plus the interest you accrue is repaid when you die or go into long term care.
  • Anyone considering releasing equity should seek independent, whole of market advice so that they fully understand the risks involved.
  • Equity release can affect the amount of inheritance you can leave behind and your entitlement to means-tested benefits could be affected now or in the future.
  • The money that you release is tax-free, and once you’ve paid off any standard mortgage that you may have you can spend the money how you wish. Tax and legislation may change, and individual circumstances have an impact on tax treatment.
  • Anyone considering equity release should be aware that it is a big decision which needs careful consideration and advice. It may not suitable for everyone and there may be alternative options.
  • There is a charge for equity release which is dependent on individual circumstances.
  • Equity release may involve a lifetime mortgage, which is secured against your property or a home reversion plan. It requires paying off any existing mortgage. Any money released, plus accrued interest would be repaid upon death, or moving into long-term care. Equity release may also impact any means tested benefits now or in the future, and may reduce the money you leave behind through your estate.

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