Research suggests that awareness and education about equity release needs to improve further.
An Age Partnership survey of over 1,014 people aged 55 and over, has revealed that the general public are still in the dark when it comes to equity release.
54% of the respondents said that they don’t understand how interest rates impact on equity release plans and 15% believe that they would no longer own their own home with this retirement finance solution.
There was a distinct lack of knowledge of one of the key equity release safeguards, the no negative equity guarantee. Over 66% of the respondents didn’t know the meaning of this key safeguard.
Meanwhile, 70% didn’t understand the difference between tied versus whole-of-market advice.
Justin Wysocki, chief revenue officer at Age Partnership, said: “We commissioned the research to give us an understanding of the general public’s perception of equity release. It has highlighted quite a few areas that will be of interest to many people in the sector, such as the lack of understanding around the no negative equity guarantee and the knowledge gap around whole-of-market advice.
“Searching the whole-of-market allows us the find the best possible solution for our client’s individual circumstances. If potential clients aren’t aware of this from the beginning of their journey they could end up taking a tied service without even realising.
“Overall, the research shows that there is still an education piece to be done to bridge the awareness and knowledge gap of the general public. At Age Partnership we have been advertising equity release on national television for over six years. We know from our own enquiry volumes that this has helped to raise awareness – but there is still a long way to go.
“We remain committed to helping educate the public on the option of equity release and findings from the research will help form our future communications to new equity release enquirers.”