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Equity release ‘increasingly being used by the middle classes’

  • 27/02/2024
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Equity release ‘increasingly being used by the middle classes’
Equity release is becoming more popular with the middle classes, as applications for those with higher-value properties have spiked, figures have shown.

According to Pure Retirement, the firm saw an uptick in 2023 equity release applications from homeowners with a property value between £250,000 and £399,999 to 36 per cent. This is a rise from 35 per cent in 2022.

The lender added that applications for properties between £400,000 and £549,999 have jumped to 19 per cent in 2023, an increase from 17 per cent in 2022.

Pure Retirement, which recently removed fees on its Classic products, said that such applications for properties between £550,000 and £699,999 stayed unchanged on an annual basis at eight per cent.

The lender added that the data showed that the middle classes were “firmly comfortable” in using equity release to support family members through gifting, as 12 per cent of equity release among owners with properties valued between £400,00 and £700,000 went towards a living inheritance.

The report noted that those applications from applicants who owned homes more than halved between 2022 and 2023 from one per cent to 0.4 per cent.

Those applying with properties valued between £100,00 and £249,999 fell two per cent year-on-year (YOY) to 26 per cent in 2023.

Pure Retirement’s CEO Paul Carter said: “These latest figures demonstrate unequivocally that lifetime mortgages are anything but a product of last resort for those from lower socioeconomic groups, and have instead evolved to become an effective financial planning tool for over-55s from all walks of life.

“The shifts in house values among applicants points to equity release increasingly being used by the middle classes, with one in 25 cases also coming from owners of £1m properties, underlying the broad audience that modern and sophisticated equity release products now appeal to thanks to ongoing product development.”

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