Vast majority of property professionals recognise the importance of later life lending

Countrywide Surveying Services' latest poll revealed an overwhelming number of property professionals highlighting the importance of later-life lending within the wider UK mortgage and residential property market.

Related topics:  Finance,  Later life
Property | Reporter
30th October 2023
pensioner 562
"Given the shifting demographics of the UK population and changing attitudes, the later-life sector will continue to provide a prominent route to funds in a way which has subtle differences from a more vanilla lending approach"
- Matthew Cumber - Countrywide Surveying Services

84% of respondents to a new poll by Countrywide Surveying Services agree that Later Life Lending is an important part of the wider UK mortgage and residential property market.

Breaking down these responses, 54% suggested that the later life lending sector was ‘very important’ 30% expressed that it was ‘somewhat important’. Only 5% said the sector was ‘not very important’ with 11% implying that it was ‘neither important nor unimportant’.

Delving deeper into later-life product offerings - when quizzed on what equity release could be used for - 40% of respondents indicated home improvements, 36% said to supplement income, 32% to clear unsecured debt and 30% to capital raise for any legal purpose, for example - tax bills, IHT planning, holidays etc. A further 26% cited to repay a mortgage, with the same proportion (26%) saying to embark on a property purchase.

These responses emerged at Countrywide Surveying Services’ latest webinar series which focused on an exploration and explanation of the later life lending sector and was hosted by Managing Director, Matthew Cumber.

Over 200 people actively engaged in the session, with the audience consisting of lenders, brokers, surveyors and other property professionals. The panel included Kelly Melville-Kelly, Director of Risk, Policy and Compliance at the Equity Release Council, Yvonne Turnbull, Head of Underwriting at Just Group, Andy McClaren, Head of Property Risk at Rothesay and Martyn Stones, Director of Technical Services at Countrywide Surveying Services.

Matthew Cumber commented: “Given the shifting demographics of the UK population and changing attitudes, the later life sector will continue to provide a prominent route to funds in a way which has subtle differences to a more vanilla lending approach but one that can generate a significant longer-term impact.

“The topics covered in the webinar were certainly thought-provoking and it’s clear that property professionals and intermediaries have a desire to become more informed about an area of the market which will only continue to grow in importance in the years to come.”

Kelly Melville-Kelly, Director of Risk, Policy and Compliance at the Equity Release Council, adds: “These findings show just how vital an active later life market is for older homeowners. Given the average UK homeowner has £222,526* in equity, many will find property is their largest financial asset, able to bridge the gap between their pension savings and the challenges of later life when incomes typically decline”.

“Modern equity release products provide more opportunity and flexibility for older homeowners to free up capital and boost their income without having to leave their homes if they don’t want to.

“Equity release should be a part of every later life financial planning conversation just as downsizing, other financial products and family support should be.

“By using a member of the Equity Release Council, customers will receive the highest standards of support and protections, including independent legal advice.”

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