Canada Life has seen a move away from using the money to fund new cars or holidays and a move towards buying a new home
Canada Life says it has seen a “dramatic increase” in the number of customers using equity release to buy a new property since the stamp duty holiday was first announced.
Its data shows that in a relatively small percentage of customers used equity release to purchase property during the first and second quarter, at 8% and 6% respectively. However, the figure more than doubles in the third quarter, to 16% of loans and rises further in the final quarter to 18% of applications.
Canada Life has also seen a move away from using the money to fund new cars or holidays and a move towards buying a new home or making home improvements.
Using equity release to cover essential spending remained the most popular reason for many throughout the year. Almost half of loans (45%) were used to pay off the mortgage, a quarter (24%) on consolidating existing debts and almost a fifth (18%) on funding day-to-day living.
Funding home improvements was one of the most popular reasons to release equity in 2020, with two fifths of customers choosing to release equity for this reason.
Alice Watson, head of marketing at Canada Life, commented: Looking at the reasons why people have chosen to use their property wealth can provide an interesting snapshot into the spending priorities of the nation during the pandemic. For example the boom in new property purchases is likely to have been fuelled by the stamp duty holiday announced in the summer Budget.
It is largely unsurprising that 2020, a year dominated by lockdowns and restrictions, has seen a drop in people using equity release to go on holiday. While this decline is expected it will be interesting to see whether the rollout of the coronavirus vaccines will lead to the beginning of a resurgence in travel. The popularity of home improvements is also particularly fitting for the year that many of us stayed home, within our own four walls, Watson said.
Watson said that over this incredibly volatile year the equity release industry has proven itself to be flexible, with products that can be used to fit a variety of purposes. The world will continue changing but people will always want to feel in control of their retirement and use their overall wealth to secure the financial futures they aspire to have. This is where advisers, with a holistic view of the retirement market, can help their clients plan for and achieve that future.
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