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Thousands tapping into property ‘piggy bank’

  • 10/04/2017
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Thousands tapping into property ‘piggy bank’
Half a million people have remortgaged over the last five years in order to release equity from their property, according to research from price comparison site uSwitch.

The study found that a third of those who remortgaged had done so for this reason, taking out an average of almost £40,000.

The main reason for doing so was in order to pay for home improvements (55% of remortgagors), though other popular reasons included consolidating existing debts (37%) and to provide financial support to children or parents (21%).

Around 60% said that they opted to do so because they believed low mortgage rates made this the cheapest way to borrow, though uSwitch pointed out that by spreading the cost over such a long period, and paying interest on that debt, it can end up being far more costly.

Thomas Lyon, money expert at uSwitch, warned that many borrowers may not understand the implications of “using their homes as piggy banks” in this way.

He added: “It’s important consumers understand the difference between taking out a loan and extending your mortgage. It is worth assessing all your options – low interest rates across many types of borrowing mean that it is worth exploring the most cost effective route before making any decisions.”

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