The equity release market has grown exponentially over the past few years, and it is easy to see why. The average over 55-year old has seen their house increase in value by £135,000 according to research by SunLife, which means many have a huge amount of wealth locked in the value of the homes.
Could part-exchange help those who really do want to move?
For some, releasing equity from their homes is something they want to do i.e. they are looking to gift to their children, pay for an extension or new kitchen, or maybe treat themselves to a once in a lifetime trip. But SunLife’s research also reveals that one in five over 55s are worse off than they expected to be at this time in their lives, so many are looking to release equity from their biggest asset because they need to.
But whatever the reason, it is clear to see that many over 50s have lots of equity in their homes, and for those that are happy to stay in their homes, equity release does offer a solution.
But what about those over 55s who want to move to a smaller, more manageable property and release valuable equity in the process, but are put off by the stress and cost of the move itself?
According to Key, a third of retired homeowners over 65 are considering downsizing over the next five years, either to free up cash or because their current home is simply too big to manage. But many are put off because they cannot find a suitable property, or they are concerned about the stress involved with a move, or both.
Selling a home can be really stressful and for older people, who maybe are not as fit and able as they once were (which could be one of the main reasons why they want to move) it can be really distressing.
The thought of negotiating with estate agents, strangers traipsing around their homes and the fear of offers falling through is enough to put many off. And then there is the issue of not being able to find a property that is suitable.
“That is why we work with developers that are building homes suitable for retirees to downsize to offer part-exchange and assisted move. This way, older people are given the opportunity to sell their property quickly, with minimum hassle and cost.
“Over the past few years, we have seen a noticeable increase in interest for our part-exchange and assisted move services for retirees looking to downsize to a nice, easy to maintain, purpose-built – new build with the minimum fuss.
“Not only does this process help the builder and the older person, but there is the added benefit that, by enabling them to move out, their bigger ‘family sized’ properties become available helping to relieve the lack of second stepper homes on the market.”