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Comment: Equity where it’s due…

The Government should support consumers who pass on house price gains to their children through equity release

The Baby Boomers get a lot of stick. The prevailing opinion seems to be they have had an easy ride and are somehow responsible for the current situation facing the younger generations. This has always seemed rather unfair to me.

The reason Boomers have done so well is not to do with any sort of conscious plan, rather a combination of luck and randomness. Take house price inflation, for example. It is hardly their fault that prices have rocketed in the past few decades.

The real issue lies with the state of the housing market and the lack of intelligent decision-making coming from Westminster.

Recent Office for National Statistics data reveals the extent of the problem, with the average salary multiple required to afford a home in England and Wales having jumped from 3.6 in 1997 to a shocking 7.6 in 2016.

In reality, many older homeowners are doing their best to give a leg-up to the next generation through products such as the lifetime mortgage, passing on inheritance early and helping their children and grandchildren to put down deposits.

It would be a tremendous remedy to the plight of first-time buyers if the Government saw the value in supporting consumers who passed on their house price gains to their children in this fashion.

Equity release in this instance can cure three pains at once by helping struggling younger people to make their first step onto the ladder, pleasing older homeowners by letting them give the next generation the opportunities they had, and helping the Government to make some progress in fixing the housing crisis.

Andrea Rozario is chief corporate officer at Bower Retirement

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