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Increase in Equity Release customers using money to clear debts

21 February 2018 | Press Release

New LV= figures show that home and garden improvements continue to be the main reason why customers release equity from their homes, accounting for three out of ten (31%) loans in 2017. In fact, since LV= entered the market a decade ago it has consistently been the most popular reason for taking out equity release.

However, the figures also highlight that households are still feeling the squeeze as, last year, one in five (20%) used the money from their homes to ‘top up’ their income and pay bills. A similar proportion (19%) used the money to pay off mortgages, loans or debts, a 26% increase from 2016 (15%) and up from 5% in 2015.

The numbers also show an increase in the number of people releasing equity to help or treat family and friends, with one in ten (11%) LV= customers doing so compared to 8% the previous year.

Mike Farrell, Protection & Equity Release Sales Director at LV=, said: “At LV=, we continue to see people using the equity in their homes to make their lives more comfortable through home and garden improvements. However, we are increasingly seeing people use their property to provide additional financial security in their retirement; whether that’s simply for additional peace of mind or to help them cope with an unexpected financial shock.

“With people spending longer in retirement, and someone’s largest asset often being their home, advisers should consider what role equity release can play in clients’ retirement planning. Many households are still under financial pressure so people are increasingly looking to access money tied up in their property to provide additional income.”

For further information please contact:

Robyn Margetts, [email protected], 020 7634 4418 / 07342 056747

Hannah Fensome, [email protected], 0207 634 4497 / 07584 889174

1) Reasons for equity release in 2017:

Reasons for Loan


Home and / or garden Improvements


Top up your income (for example, to help pay bills)


Clear mortgage, loans or debts


Treat or help family and friends


One off purchase (such as a car or caravan)




Medical Treatment


Property Purchase


Provide care at home


Essential repairs to your property




Switch from another provider


Inheritance tax planning




Reason for loan % based on case counts for initial loans, further withdrawals and additional borrowing on all LV= Equity Release products across 2017. Customers were asked to give the main reason they planned to use the money for.

LV=, County Gates, Bournemouth, BH1 2NF, UK