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
Established in 1836, Legal & General is one of the UK's leading financial services groups and a major global investor, with over £1.2 trillion in total assets under management* of which 39% is international. We have a unique and highly synergistic business model, which continues to drive strong returns. Legal & General provides powerful asset origination and management capabilities directly to clients, which also 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. Our purpose is to improve the lives of our customers and create value for our shareholders. Through inclusive capitalism, we are investing in long-term assets, such as real estate and infrastructure, that can help build a better society for the future.
Legal & General Retail helps create brighter financial futures for all our customers. The division covers the savings, protection and retirement needs of our c.13 million retail policyholders and workplace members.
In 2022, we had total individual annuity sales of £954 million, and issued £632 million of Lifetime Mortgages and Retirement Interest Only Mortgages. Our Workplace pension platform served 4.9 million members, while our Protection businesses gave peace of mind to more than 6.3 million UK life insurance, 1.8 million group and 1.5 million US customers, taking in £3.1 billion of gross written premiums.
*at 31 Dec 2022