Lifetime mortgages “product of choice” for retirees: OneFamily

Lifetime mortgages are soaring in popularity among wealthier homeowners, according to OneFamily.

Analysis of the lender’s data found that the price of a property OneFamily lends on is typically 59 per cent higher than the average property price, at £370,483 versus a nationwide price of £232,554.

Regionally there are significant variances with the average price of a home in London being used to release capital now £816,000, compared to the average sale price of £482,000. In the south east outside London, the value of properties being lent against is £493,000 versus a regional average property cost of £328,000.

OneFamily says the data suggests lifetime mortgages are being used as a product of choice in retirement planning, alongside pensions, for an increasing number of homeowners.

This is also borne out by the average age of a lifetime mortgage customer, which OneFamily says is 68, when traditionally it would have been older homeowners using lifetime mortgages to pay for essential costs later in life.

OneFamily director of lifetime mortgages managing director Nici Audhlam-Gardiner says: “As the data shows, equity release is no longer a reaction for consumers to make up a savings shortfall but rather a proactive decision to make the most of their largest asset. Many older homeowners have significant amounts of money tied up in their homes and want to be able to enjoy their later years. This also means we are seeing a younger generation of customers who are at the point of retirement and want to realise their lifetime dreams whilst they are still in good health.

“We are also seeing more diverse reasons for people to access the capital in their home, and many more accessing it to fund what could be seen as relatively luxury activities such as travel, buying second properties, and helping younger family members get onto the property ladder.”

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