Press releases

Homeowners continue to use equity release to support loved ones

Legal & General Home Finance customers continue to use property wealth to provide financial support for families and to invest in their homes. The desire to help loved ones will likely remain consistent throughout 2023.

26 Jan 2023

Full press release

Lifetime mortgage customers are continuing to use the value of their property to help financially support their families and to make changes to their homes, according to customer data from Legal & General Home Finance (LGHF)1.

Data shows that Legal & General customers use the value hidden in their homes to help family members meet financial goals, in 11% of drawdowns. With the average house price for a first-time buyer standing at £245,522 toward the end of last year, according to Land Registry data2, financial gifts remain crucial to helping new buyers meet the cost of a deposit. Using equity to support family members in this way is likely to remain consistent during 2023.

Home improvements remain the most common reason for drawing down funds from the home, in 53% of applications. With the market still challenging, many homeowners may be considering improving rather than moving. However, the type of home improvements people are making could be changing. Legal & General’s Equity Economy research3, carried out last year, found that 13% of those surveyed had accessed property wealth to finance energy efficiency improvements, with insulation ranking as the most popular improvement in this group.

Craig Brown, CEO, Legal & General Home Finance: “The home is still likely to be one of the most significant financial assets many homeowners have, and it can play a key role in supporting retirement needs and goals. Looking ahead this year, we expect that gifting and home improvements will remain popular uses of equity release. A living inheritance can help to provide support to younger family members at a time when it’s needed most.

“Lifetime mortgages remain a practical solution for many people looking to fund later life. A stringent financial advice process, along with robust industry standards and safeguards, ensure equity release customers are supported in their decision making. We make sure customers are aware any additional drawdowns they take are at the prevailing rate which, in the current climate, may well be higher than when they originally took out a lifetime mortgage, and we’ve put in place enhanced procedures for drawdowns to make sure our customers clearly understand the impact of their financial decisions.”


1LGHF data analysing Loan Purpose Drawdowns from 2022

2UK House Price Index, first time buyer data, November 2022

3The 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.

Further information

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Claire Byrd

Senior PR Manager

Legal & General Retail

Notes to editors

Established in 1836, Legal & General is one of the UK's leading financial services groups and a major global investor, with £1.2 trillion in total assets under management1 of which 40% 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.

1Data as at 31 December 2023.

Legal & General Retail helps create brighter financial futures for all our customers. The division covers the savings, protection and retirement needs of our c.14 million retail policyholders and workplace members.  

In 2023, we had total individual annuity sales of £1,431 million, and issued £299 million of Lifetime Mortgages and Retirement Interest Only Mortgages. Our Workplace pension platform served 5.2 million members, while our Protection businesses gave peace of mind to several million direct, group and US customers, taking in £1,991 million of UK and $1,584 million of US gross written premiums.