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New Research - 'Silver Spenders': Our latest report discusses how equity release supports economic growth

More than £7bn boost to the economy from Britons releasing housing equity for retirement, new research from Legal & General reveals.

  • Legal & General’s ‘Silver Spenders’ report found that cash accessed by equity release supports gross output by up to £7.1bn[1]
  • For every £1 of equity released via a lifetime mortgage or other equity release products, £2.34 is generated for the UK economy
  • Legal & General wrote £1bn in lifetime mortgage advances last year, with the whole market surpassing £3bn in 2017

Britons releasing equity from their homes for retirement have supported the UK economy by over £7bn in 2017, according to new research from Legal & General Home Finance and the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR). The lifetime mortgage lender’s ‘Silver Spenders’ report found that equity release contributes up to £7.1bn to UK gross output.

Lifetime mortgages - a type of equity release - have seen a surge in popularity amongst Britain’s older homeowners in recent years, becoming the fastest growing sector of the mortgage market. Lifetime mortgage sales tripled between 2013 and 2017, rising from just over £1bn to more than £3bn in 2017, according to the Equity Release Council.[2]

The new research set out to analyse the current direct, indirect and induced impact of the equity released from homeowners’ properties on the UK economy and specific industries. It found that for every £1 of housing wealth accessed through equity release products, £2.34 is generated for the British economy.

Breaking down the direct economic impact industry by industry, manufacturing benefits the most from equity release spending to the tune of £1.34bn, whilst the construction sector benefits from a £349m injection - the equivalent annual salaries of 14,000 construction workers or 11,400 electricians. Health and social work was also supported by equity release spending. The research highlighted that the sector was boosted by £203m, which is the equivalent of 7,500 nurses, 3,200 doctors or 9,600 community workers.

When analysing the actual number of jobs created by equity release spending, Legal & General’s research found that equity release supports 37,100 jobs directly and indirectly across the UK. And this is likely to grow significantly over time.

As part of the research, Legal & General surveyed over 2,500 consumers, asking them about their opinions on accessing property wealth in retirement. Only 3% of Britain’s homeowners said they had released equity, yet 18% said they would consider accessing their housing wealth via a lifetime mortgage in the future and a further 3% said they had considered doing so in the past. The means almost a quarter (24%) of UK homeowners, or 3.4m households are open to the idea of accessing their property wealth in retirement.[3]

Legal & General entered the lifetime mortgage market in 2015 and became the largest provider of the product in H1 2017. Newly released figures now show that Legal & General Home Finance wrote £1bn in lifetime mortgage advances last year.

Chris Knight, Chief Executive Officer, Legal & General Retirement Retail, said:

“It’s no secret that lifetime mortgages have been growing in popularity in recent years, but as more and more Britons decide to access the cash tied up in their homes for retirement, no one has yet asked the question about the impact this newly unlocked equity is having on our economy.

“Our ‘Silver Spenders’ research shows that homeowners aged over 55 are boosting UK gross output by up to £7.1bn, with the benefits being felt across industries ranging from construction and manufacturing to health and social services. Not only are these older homeowners accessing equity that would otherwise have remained locked up in their properties, whether for a holiday or a home renovation, but these funds are filtering through the economy as well. That is boosting the spending power of our businesses, generating jobs and spurring economic growth across the UK.

“With longevity increasing and awareness about lifetime mortgages growing, the role of equity release and its contribution to the national economy is set to grow further. Last year saw the sector surpass £3bn and a £5bn plus market is a strong possibility by 2020.[4] But there is an estimated £1.5 trillion of property wealth in hands of Britain’s over-55s, so there is the potential for retirees and their housing equity to play a much bigger role in boosting UK GDP in years to come.”

For the full report and infographic, please download via the links below

 

There is an estimated £1.5 trillion of property wealth in hands of Britain’s over-55s, so there is the potential for retirees and their housing equity to play a much bigger role in boosting UK GDP in years to come.

Chris Knight, Chief Executive Officer, Legal & General Retirement Retail

[1] Gross output is the total value of a company’s or sector’s output including intermediate consumption. This figure includes the direct, indirect and induced impact on the economy:

  • Direct impact: The impact related to the sector or company under consideration.
  • Indirect impact: Increases in employment and economic activity along the supply chains supporting the direct activities of the sector or company under consideration.
  • Induced impact: Increases in employment and economic activity generated through the increased spending power of employees of the sector or company under consideration and their supply chains.

[2] Equity Release Council Q4 2017 figures: http://www.equityreleasecouncil.com/news/equity-release-records-broken-as-unprecedented-q4-activity-sees/

[3] Based on UK homeownership figures in the English Housing Survey 2015 to 2016 report: https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/658478/2015-16_EHS_Headline_Report.pdf

[4] Equity Release Council Q4 2017 figures: http://www.equityreleasecouncil.com/news/equity-release-records-broken-as-unprecedented-q4-activity-sees/

NOTES TO EDITORS

The Legal & General Group

The Legal & General Group, established in 1836, is one of the UK’s leading financial services companies. As at 30 June 2017, the total value of assets across the group was £951.1 billion, including derivative assets. We also had over 9.5 million customers in the UK for our life assurance, pensions, investments and general insurance plans.

The information contained in this press release is intended solely for journalists and should not be relied upon by private investors or any other persons to make financial decisions.

Legal & General Home Finance is a wholly owned subsidiary of Legal & General Group plc. Registered in England and Wales number 04896447. Registered office: One Coleman Street, London EC2R 5AA.

Legal & General Home Finance Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

For further information

Deborah Goodier

Deborah Goodier

PR and Communications Director

Individual Retirement and Pension Risk Transfer

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