The human face of our business

As stagnation in the property market continues to blight the land, consumers are increasingly looking for alternative ways to meet their changing housing requirements - ones that do not involve moving home.

We have noticed that extensions are being favoured over trading up, renovation over relocation and home offices are being developed in gardens, or garages being converted for this purpose.

Equity release continues to play a vital role in financing home improvements for retired home owners. Survey after survey points to a significant proportion of plans being used for home improvements and renovations.

These plans improve living standards and have the potential to increase the long-term value of the properties involved.

A letter I received recently reminded me of the human benefits these plans can bring. One of my clients took the time to set out a detailed explanation of the work she had undertaken with the released funds.

This work included everything from new shelves in the garage to a summer house in the garden. Her next project is to replace internal doors scratched by a dog more than 30 years ago.

She finished her letter by expressing the “great joy” she felt at being able to repair and improve her property.

This was welcome a reminder of the human side of the tough business in which we operate.