Equity Release: The Financial Impact Of Covid

The pandemic has not only caused much concern for the ongoing health of the older generation, but also markedly changed future expectations for financial security across their retirement years.

The introduction of vaccines, and a better understanding by the NHS on how to tackle COVID-19 will, of course, reassure many. Additionally, the over 55s will also be mindful that despite all the problems faced across 2020, average house prices rose annually by 7.3% – partly fuelled by the short-term reduction in Stamp Duty.

With so many variables, the property price predictions for 2021 are mixed. The Halifax expects a 2-5% fall. Whilst Rightmove is more bullish, and suggests a 4% rise, with many others falling somewhere in between. Despite the 2020 house price growth, research by the industry body – the Equity Release Council shows that financial confidence amongst the over 55s has been dented by the pandemic.

Findings compare the period before COVID-19 and its impact in the space of a year for the over 55s:
Worried about running out of money?

Quarter 4 2019 – 27%, Quarter 3 2020 – 34% (+7%)

Worried about falling ill and having to pay for care?

Quarter 4 2019 – 39%, Quarter 3 2020 – 48% (+9%)

If they need extra money in retirement, 27% of the over 55s will look to Equity Release, lifetime mortgage and retirement mortgage.

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