Equity Release Customers Keep it in the Family
12 August 2021
Older homeowners cashing in property wealth regularly involve family in the decision making process, the first comprehensive study into the experience of customers over the past 20 years from the UK’s leading equity release adviser Key shows.
High Level of Family Involvement:
Its research shows nearly two-thirds (60%) of equity release customers consulted family before going ahead with just 4% saying their family was sceptical about their plans. Instead, 29% chose not to involve family or friends as “it was none of their business” while others avoided the conversation as feared they would be sceptical (4%) or that they may feel guilty as the money was being used to help them (2%).
Data from the study shows that over the last 20 years, more than £32.6 billion of property wealth has been released with 557,000 customers and their families benefiting from the money which has also helped boost the wider UK economy and housing market.
Key launched the report Equity Release Revolution to find out what customers thought about the modern equity release market and to address historic myths and misconceptions around the market. It questioned customers who had taken out products in the past 20 years.
The Value of Advice:
Equity release cannot be taken out without the support of a specialist adviser and 92% of customers said that they felt their adviser described the plan they took out well or very well.
Such was the trust in their adviser that more than two out of five customers (42%) say they would value continued support from advisers after completing while 53% said that they didn’t need their adviser to keep in contact as they ‘know they can phone if they needed them’.
Going forward customers were keen to keep in touch in case they needed more information (18%), wanted to make changes to their plan (14%) or because their adviser specialised in products for the over-55s so might be helpful (10%).
Will Hale, CEO at Key, said: “Equity release products are fairly unique in that very few other property-based transactions see advisers actively encouraging clients to discuss their choices with their families. However, with £829 million being used for gifting in the last twelve-months alone, it is not entirely unsurprising that almost two out of three people who take out equity release involve them in the decision making process.
“The industry has come a long way over the last 20-years and it is great news that 92% of equity release customers believe that their adviser described the plan they took out well or very well. These are the high standards that we demand of ourselves and we need to keep focused on making improvements going forward.
“While some might argue that this type of advice is more transactional, clients are keen to keep in contact or confident that should they need support in future, they will be able to speak to their adviser again. This too speaks to the quality of advice and is an enduring testament to the hard work of the industry.”