0 Over 55s expected to control £1.2 trillion of housing wealth by 2020 By The Bower Team / In Equity Release Legal & General have issued a report on the ‘last-time buyer’ market and revealed that the over 55s currently control £820 billion of UK property wealth, a figure that they predict will rise to a staggering £1.2 trillion by 2020. With such enormous amounts of property wealth at the disposal of homeowners aged 55 and over, it is unsurprising that equity release is going through somewhat of a boom period. What’s more, Legal & General are also seeing the benefits of this growing industry as they have also recently launched into the equity release market. The ‘Last Time Buyers’ report also points to a number of other interesting discoveries pertaining to the 55+ demographic. For example, the report claims that there are 11.4 million homeowners aged 55 or over, but a great lack of suitable housing is forcing many to stay in their homes when they wish to downsize. Nearly a third (32%) of homeowners in the 55 and over demographic have considered downsizing in the last 5 years, but only 7% have actually gone ahead. For many of these homeowners the money lost on maintaining an unsuitable home can become very troublesome; however, equity release is proving to be an ever more popular way of converting housing wealth into tangible tax-free cash and alleviating many of the financial struggles people are having to bear in retirement. When downsizing seems like a step in the wrong direction, a lifetime mortgage can provide the financial support needed whilst ensuring you never have to move home. Equity release is a serious, long-term commitment, and professional advice is essential. Equity release will reduce the value of your estate, and may affect your entitlement to state benefits. To discover whether equity release is right for you, contact Bower today. ‘Last Time Buyers’, a report by Legal & General, in conjunction with the Centre for Economics and Business Research.