Estate agents are increasingly valuing the potential of equity release to support clients and enhance business partnerships, new research* from leading equity release referral service Key Partnerships shows.
Its study found more than half (56%) of estate agents believe that a stronger relationship with a specialist equity release adviser would enable them to highlight the benefits of equity release to aid house purchase.
While Key have seen a growing number of people looking at this option, anecdotal evidence suggests that most people think equity release can only be used if they are helping someone else buy a home or buying a second property rather than as part of their own house purchase. Indeed, research recently undertaken with lawyers found 45% see equity release as potential solution for raising money to buy a second property.
Gifting funds to help children and grandchildren climb on to the housing ladder is a growing trend. Industry figures estimate that more than one in four housing transactions in the UK are dependent on the Bank of Mum and Dad and Key’s research with estate agents found one in three (35%) say clients who are downsizing want to raise money to help family with deposits.
Equity release as an alternative to downsizing is better understood and 43% of agents say they often suggest equity release as an alternative to retired homeowners looking to downsize. This market is expected to show strong growth as 44% of estate agents have seen a rise in downsizing inquiries from older customers in the past year.
Jason Ruse, Head of Key Partnerships said
: “Estate agents and other professionals are clearly seeing the potential in closer working relationships with equity release advisers, and equity release is a compelling option for parents and grandparents.
“They can use the equity in their home to support their children or grandchildren’s property ownership ambitions or - indeed - their own. Some people look to equity release to finance the purchase of a second home or to increase their own purchasing power as they look to move themselves.
“With average prices paid by a first-time buyer in the UK over £200,000 and rising to more than £400,000 in London, estate agents are well-placed to highlight property funding choices available to their clients.”