As the UK heads for a double-dip recession this winter, the volume of demand for equity release products is surging as people look at options to bolster their finances, according to specialist adviser John Lamb Hill Oldridge.

John Lamb Hill Oldridge has seen a marked uptick in the number of enquiries from people in their sixties who are considering all their assets to see if they can unlock much needed capital, and have realised they can no longer exclude what is probably their largest asset; their home.

Paula Steele, director of John Lamb Hill Oldridge, said: “People are clearly trying to gauge how they are going to keep up their standard of living, pay for potential increases in care costs and get through uncertain times ahead.

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“We’ve seen a spike in the number of equity release enquiries from people who have been made to stop work sooner than expected or seen their savings or equity pots shrink due to COVID.

“A 75-year old couple living in a £1m property could put in place an equity release facility of up to £370,000 with a sub 2.5% initial interest rate, fixed for life, providing them with the additional cash injection needed to bolster their income.

“This would provide them with up to £15,000 per year of additional funding for over 24 years.”

John Lamb Hill Oldridge say the pandemic has materially impacted the FTSE 100 and 250 indices, slashed capital values and forced companies to cut dividends, impacting many OAPs and retirees who were reliant on their equity portfolios to pay for living and care costs.

Compounding this is the historically low level of interest savers are receiving on deposits plus the fact that previously reliable sources of rental income from holiday homes has been disrupted.

The specialist adviser says that equity release provides older people who own property with a sensible and pragmatic funding solution which will enable them to weather the current crisis.

The government has committed to keeping the property market open during the second national lockdown in England and valuations are still taking place.

The process and professionals involved in executing equity release for clients is still operating business as usual.