Legal & General’s The Equity Economy report, conducted with the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR), found that cash accessed by equity release supported nearly £3.8 billion in UK gross value added (GVA).
18 May 2022
Older homeowners accessing the value held in their homes via lifetime mortgages and other forms of equity release are directly adding nearly £1.8 billion in GVA across the UK economy, according to a new report from Legal & General and the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR)1. Spending funded by equity release is further estimated to support nearly £1.1 billion in in ‘indirect’ effects on GVA, as well as £0.9 billion in ‘induced’ effects of equity release spending on GVA2, bringing the total impacts on UK economic activity to £3.8 billion.
The report found that in 2021, a record £4.3 billion was released via lifetime mortgages and other forms of equity release – an 11% annual increase. This money, previously tied up in the significant property wealth held by the UK’s over 55s, was then spent across a range of sectors as homeowners supported family members, achieved their goals and boosted their incomes with the extra funding. The wholesale and retail sector benefitted most from the extra cash unlocked (18% - £757 million). A significant share of the equity release funds was spent on the human health and social work sector (12% - £517 million), likely due to the significant care spend of this age group.
In addition to direct equity release spending across various sectors, the report also reveals the wider economic benefits generated as a result. For example, money spent on home improvements, a common reason for taking out a lifetime mortgage, not only benefits the contractors completing the work but will also benefit their suppliers. The report estimates the positive impact of equity release across supply chains and to employees supported just under £2 billion in GVA in 2021. This means that for every £1 spent as a result of equity release, a total of £2.12 in terms of economic activity is supported across the UK economy.
Through its contribution to the UK economy, equity release spending by homeowners also supports job creation in a range of sectors across the country. Spending funded directly by equity release generated more than 45,000 jobs. A third of this total, equating to 15,300 roles, are found in the health and social work sector, due to the high spend on care costs. Taking into account the indirect supply chain effects, and induced effects of this spending, modelling undertaken by Cebr estimates that an additional 35,000 jobs are supported as a result of equity release’s impact on the economy.
Craig Brown, CEO, Legal & General Home Finance: “With the property market continuing to boom, the value held in the homes of the UK’s over 55s is both significant and growing. Complimenting this, over the past decade the later-life lending market has seen improved standards and advice, and a growth in flexible products to meet customer need; giving homeowners confidence and security in making use of this asset. Our research demonstrates that a growing number of people will look to their property wealth to fund their lifestyle, particularly in retirement.
“However, as this report demonstrates, the impact of the equity release market is more significant than just the spending power it gives to the individual homeowner: it funds businesses, creates jobs and makes a positive contribution to the UK economy.”
1The Equity Economy 2022, Centre for Economics & Business Research (Cebr) report for Legal & General, April 2022. Cebr was commissioned by Legal & General to analyse the equity release market in the UK. As well as drawing on existing data sources from the Equity Release Council and the Office for National Statistics this report gains fresh insight from a bespoke survey of more than 2,000 homeowners, of which 339 are equity release customers. Fieldwork for the survey was undertaken between 31st March – 7th April 2022 by Opinium.
2 The £3.8 billion figure includes the direct, indirect and induced impact on turnover:
• Direct impact: The result of direct spending
• Indirect impact: Any increases in employment and economic activity along supply chains as a result
• Induced impact: Increases in employment and economic activity generated through the increased spending power of any employees
Notes to editors
Established in 1836, Legal & General is one of the UK's leading financial services groups and a major global investor, with over £1.4 trillion in total assets under management* of which a third is international. We also provide powerful asset origination capabilities. Together, these underpin our leading retirement and protection solutions: we are a leading international player in pension risk transfer, in UK and US life insurance, and in UK workplace pensions and retirement income. Through inclusive capitalism, we aim to build a better society by investing in long-term assets that benefit everyone.
*at 31 Dec 2021
As of 1st January 2022, Legal & General Retail Retirement and Legal & General Insurance (our two retail businesses) have been combined into one division, Legal & General Retail to enable us to better serve the needs of our retail customers.
Legal & General Retail helps protect the lives and futures of our customers; the division covers the savings, protection and retirement needs of our c12 million retail policyholders and workplace members. In 2021, we wrote £957 million of annuity premiums, and issued £848 million of Lifetime Mortgages and Retirement Interest Only Mortgages. Our Workplace pension platform served 4.4 million members, while in the UK we paid out a total of £1,133.8 million in insurance claims.