Lifetime mortgage perception improving

According to the survey carried out among 126 independent financial advisers, 30% have seen an increase in enquiries regarding lifetime mortgages in the last six months and 15% said they had seen a 20% increase over the last 12 months.

In addition, 69% of advisers strongly agreed that their clients were more willing to recommend lifetime mortgages to family and friends now compared to 10 years ago.

The research also showed that over half of homeowners who decide to take out lifetime mortgages make the decision within one month, with 20% of those in two weeks. A further 25% make the decision in three months or under.

These results support recent figures from the Equity Release Council which showed that the market has grown by more than a third since 2011 and in the last year over £1bn has been released by over 55s looking to unlock the equity in their homes.

Georgina Smith, managing director of Stonehaven, said: “We are starting to see the leading edge of the pension crisis as older homeowners, who are faced with juggling the competing demands of a fixed income with an aspiration to enjoy life while they can.

“This generation of homeowners has benefited from the massive increase in house prices and are now seeking to cash in without having to downsize.

“Lifetime mortgages are proving an effective way of easing interest-only mortgage fears and providing some peace of mind as this generation is barred from conventional mortgage lending.

“New flexible products mean that borrowers can provide a protected legacy for their children, but also release some cash for themselves. In essence, this increased flexibility means that people are becoming more aware that they can enjoy today - and also provide for future generations.”