Guest Blog: L&G Later life lending through Covid-19
We asked Dave Stratton, Distribution Director at Legal & General Home Finance, for his thoughts on equity release in the current climate.
While the economic outlook remains uncertain, for many people in later life, property wealth will remain one of their biggest assets. Many households will be assessing their financial needs now, and for some over 55s, releasing equity from their home may be an option they are already considering. Even prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Equity Release Council’s lending figures showed people were turning to their homes to bolster their finances. In fact, over £1 billion of equity was unlocked in the last quarter of 2019, making it the busiest on record. As with many industries, we have needed to find ways to adapt to the new environment to provide people with the financial solutions they need in a safe and responsible way.
The health and safety of our people and customers has never been more important.
To comply with Government social distancing guidelines, Legal & General Home Finance has moved to desktop valuations across all our lifetime mortgage products. These are completed remotely by an independent valuer using publicly available information to assess the value of a home without a visit. This means we can keep our customers and staff safe while remaining open for new business.
While there is lots of uncertainty right now – there are many reasons why someone may choose to release equity from their home. People approaching retirement could be facing a significant change in circumstances and may be reviewing their financial options. Others may be looking for ways to increase their income in retirement or perhaps support family members. Whatever the reason, bear in mind that a lifetime mortgage is a long-term decision, and the recipient of a gift from a lifetime mortgage may have to pay Inheritance Tax in the future.
Particularly at times of high stress, it’s crucial to make sure that people understand their options and are given the advice they need. This advice should be tailored to meeting the individual’s long-term needs, so they are making measured decisions beyond any immediate concerns. It’s important to remember that a lifetime mortgage is a loan secured against your home, and there may be cheaper ways to borrow money.
Legal & General Home Finance
If you would like to find out more about our lifetime mortgages, please speak to your adviser or call us on 03442 643 575
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