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Women Divorcees More Likely to Use Housing Equity than Men

06 July 2022

New data from Key Later Life Finances highlights that almost three times as many divorced women release equity from their home than divorced men.  This figure has gradually increased over the last few years and is set to climb further following the introduction of no-fault divorces on 6th April 2022*.
Number of Divorced Customers Growing:
Across 2021, 12% of people who released equity from their home were divorced, a one percentage point increase on 2020. Of the divorcees who took out equity release nearly three quarters (72%) were female, up from 69% in 2020, compared to just 28% of men in 2021, down two percentage points on 2020 (30%).

Divorced Equity Release Customers
  % of total customers Men Women
2019 10% 26% 74%
2020 11% 31% 69%
2021 12% 28% 72%
Q1 2022 12% 31% 69%
Divorced Men Focus on Debt Repayment while Divorced Women Gift:
Divorced women are more likely to use equity release for gifting (16%) and home improvements (41%) than their male counterparts (9% and 31% respectively).  Interestingly, significantly more divorced men (70%) use more of their housing equity for debt repayment than couples (42%) and divorced women (56%).
  % of equity release % of those releasing equity
  Men Women Couple Men Women Couple
Gifting 11% 15% 6% 9% 16% 22%
Home Improvements 4% 11% 9% 31% 41% 36%
Debt Repayment 70% 56% 42% 67% 59% 33%
Will Hale, CEO at Key Later Life Finance, said: “Over the last few years, we have seen an increase in divorcees using equity release with more women than men choosing to access their housing equity.  With the most recent ONS data highlighting that divorce amongst those aged over 65 has increased by 46% year on year and no-fault divorces now a reality, the number of divorcees who consider this option is only likely to increase.
“Women in particular appear to be keen to access their housing equity – potentially as they received the family home rather than pension assets and other savings or investments as part of a divorce settlement.    Digging into the details, more women are driven by the desire to gift and age proof their home while more men focus on debt repayment.  
“Equity release is just one option some are turning towards, to help fund their later life following a change in circumstance such as divorce but there are a variety of other considerations.  Speaking to a specialist financial adviser will help people to better understand what these options are and whether they may be right for their them.”

Page last updated: Wednesday 06 July 2022