More homeowners 'taking advantage of lifetime mortgages'

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A growing number of homeowners are taking advantage of lifetime mortgages to repay debts and fund one-off purchases including property improvements, according to intune.

Mark Gettinby, the Help the Aged subsidiary's financial services director, said that the decision to use the form of equity release gave households "peace of mind" by enabling them to ensure they have funds available if they need them.

However, the expert added that people who are interested in equity release should seek financial advice.

"It is true to say that there is a general lack of understanding of equity release with the general public," he explained.

"As equity release is a major financial decision we would always encourage the public to seek independent advice from a specialist before proceeding."

Recent research by Safe Home Income Plans found that drawdown lifetime mortgages account for 51 per cent of all new equity release plans sold, while the sale of all related products increased by 15 per cent in the third quarter of 2007.

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