Research from the firm found that 3% of over-55 UK households have unlocked value from their properties via equity release in the last year, a figure unchanged from the previous year. However, L&G pointed to its study which found that a further 4% were considering releasing equity this year as evidence that the sector was set for notable growth.
It noted that buyer affordability was continuing to worsen, with the average house price in England and Wales now 7.6 times the average annual earnings. It also pointed out that by freeing up capital already tied-up in the family home, older homeowners can help family members or friends onto or up the property ladder.
L&G research suggests that as many as 442,900 individuals could be helped to buy a home via equity release this year alone.
Steve Ellis, managing director of L&G Home Finance, said he wanted to see releasing equity from a home become part of the mainstream mortgage market. He continued: “By taking out a lifetime mortgage, older homeowners could see their relatives enjoy the benefits of their inheritance now rather than after they are gone.”
According to the most recent figures from the Equity Release Council, equity release lending in the first quarter of the year was worth £697m, up by a massive 77% on the same period last year.