Over-55s in the South are three times more likely to use equity release to purchase a home than those in the North, according to the latest research from more2life.
Data released by the equity release lender shows that South West England, South East England and London account for 46% of all cases and is in stark comparison to North East England, North West England and Yorkshire, which saw 15% of the UK total.
Using equity release for property purchase was most popular in the South East, accounting for almost a quarter (23%) of all cases, followed by the South West (16%). The least popular areas for house purchases through equity release proved to be North East England (2%), followed by Wales (2%) and Scotland (5%) – potentially due to more modest house prices.
However, while the use of equity release for property purchase appeared to be driven by the need to manage higher average house prices in the South West (£307,030), South East (£408,701) and London (£775,185), borrowers in the North East (£192,214) did take out the highest average loan to value (31%) [see table below].
Interestingly, the South West (29%), East Midlands (29%), Scotland (28%) and the East (27%) also boasted higher LTV’s than the UK Average (26%) – potentially suggesting that in some areas with buoyant property markets, over-55s may need more of a boost than others.
Dave Harris, Chief Executive Officer at more2life, comments: “While the stamp duty holiday has come to a close, today’s figures highlight the important role equity release has played in helping people find their forever home. This is never easy – especially if you need to find a property that has been adapted or can be in future - but equity release can provide the boost that people need in order to achieve this.
“Although higher house prices in London, the South West and the South East have seen more customers in these regions choosing this option, we have seen the benefits right across the country. For some, it means finding their dream property while for others it means moving closer to family or amenities that support what they want to do in retirement.
“Having raised the profile of equity release with regards to property purchase, we are hopeful that this has put it on the radar of the wider adviser community and we will continue to see people benefit from these products."