Blog > Equity Release in Belfast

Equity Release in Belfast

equity release belfast

By Clare Yates • 3rd August 2023 • 6 min read

How to unlock your home’s value if you live in Belfast

Equity release is available to Belfast homeowners aged over 55 who wish to release wealth tied up in their home. The choice of lenders is more limited than elsewhere in the UK, but two leading providers are very active in the Belfast equity release market.

The Equity Release Council reported a 30% increase in sales of equity release in Northern Ireland between 2017 and 2021. With average house prices increasing in Belfast by over £67,000 in the last ten years alone, equity release in Belfast has been an attractive option for many homeowners in the region.

To help you gather all the initial information you need about this form of later life lending, we’ll be discussing the following in today’s article:

  • What is equity release?
  • Can you get equity release in Belfast?
  • Am I eligible for equity release in Belfast?
  • What are the main types of equity release in Belfast?
  • Who are the top equity release providers in Belfast?
  • How can I arrange equity release in Belfast?

For further information and advice, please don’t hesitate to contact us. Simply call us on 0808 178 3055 or request a call back and we’ll arrange a no-obligation appointment with one of our selected advisers. Alternatively, check your eligibility and get an initial indication of how much tax-free cash you could unlock.

What is equity release?

An equity release plan allows you to unlock some of the tax-free cash from your property to spend in almost any way you wish. Holidays, home improvements, gifting to family members and clearing the mortgage are some of the most popular reasons for equity release.

There are typically no monthly repayments to make with a lifetime mortgage, the most popular form of equity release. Instead, your home is usually put up for sale when you pass away or move into long-term care, and the proceeds are used to repay your loan plus interest. Any cash left over from the sale is given to your estate to distribute according to your will.

For further information about equity release, call us on 0808 178 3055 or request a call back and we’ll connect you with an adviser. 

Average Belfast property value rises by £67k in ten years

It has been well documented that the UK enjoyed record average house prices towards the end of 2022. That growth will have no doubt been a contributing factor to the record sales seen by the equity release industry last year. 

In Belfast alone, homeowners have seen the average house price rise by £67,558 over the last decade – a staggering growth of 75%.

The increase means that thousands of homeowners across the city have more equity in their properties than when they bought them. When a homeowner requests a calculation of how much they can potentially receive through equity release, the value of their property is one of the main deciding factors. So generally speaking, the higher the property is worth, the more cash is typically available. 

With that in mind, our analysis of Belfast equity release begins with a breakdown of property prices over the last decade.

Land Registry analysis of Belfast house prices since 2013

It’s a well-known fact that despite recent fluctuations, UK house prices have risen significantly over the last decade. Many homeowners in and approaching retirement are in a strong position due to owning their home for quite some years. As a result, they are likely to have benefitted substantially in that time from the overall market increases.

The below table shows how the average home in Belfast has increased in value since 2013, compared to the average house price in the UK:

Belfast house prices vs UK average: 2013 – 2023

YearUK averageBelfast average

SOURCE: Land Registry House Price Statistics in Belfast, April 2013 – 2023.

For an in-depth update on property prices and equity release stats for Northern Ireland, read our Equity Release: Northern Ireland – Market Report.

Who are the top equity release providers in Belfast?

The two main Belfast equity release providers are Just and Aviva.

Both of these providers offer lifetime mortgages to owners of freehold or leasehold houses and bungalows in Belfast. They also offer lifetime mortgages to owners of leasehold flats and maisonettes in the city. Freehold flats are not acceptable.

There are some differences between the two companies in terms of their equity release plan criteria and features, including:

  • Just offers interest-only plans, whereas Aviva does not.
  • Just has a minimum release of £10,000, but with Aviva the minimum you can release is £15,000. 

The good news is that by coming through Equity Release Wise, our selected advisers can help you compare providers so you can be sure you are making the best decision. They can also liaise with the providers on your behalf to secure the best deals.

What are the main types of equity release in Belfast?

If you are considering equity release, Belfast homeowners can arrange a lifetime mortgage – the most popular type of plan. This is the only option currently available as Aviva and Just do not offer home reversion plans.

One of the reasons that lifetime mortgages are so popular is because you continue to own 100% of your home after arranging your plan. You can also make voluntary payments towards your plan to reduce or prevent interest accruing on it.

There are many different features of a lifetime mortgage which help you to tailor your plan to your individual wants and needs. Some of these include:

  • Enhanced lifetime mortgage. These allow you to unlock more money or access better interest rates if you have a qualifying health condition.
  • Interest-only lifetime mortgage. You can prevent or reduce interest from accruing on your loan by agreeing to pay off some or all of the interest each month. 
  • Drawdown lifetime mortgage. Unlock an initial lump sum now, then access further funds in the future as and when you want to. This can save you a significant amount of interest over time.

Aviva even allows you to make penalty-free payments of up to 10% of your overall loan each year if you wish. It means you could clear your whole loan in

Am I eligible for equity release in Belfast?

To be considered for equity release, Belfast homeowners must:

  • Be 55 or over (both of you if making a joint application)
  • Have a home worth £70,000 or more
  • Be mortgage-free or have a small mortgage which can be paid off by the money you release

If you meet the above criteria then you can use our equity release calculator to see how much you could unlock from your home.

Not yet old enough to arrange a plan? There may be other ways to release equity if you are under 55

How can I arrange equity release in Belfast?

To get started on exploring and arranging equity release, Belfast homeowners first need to speak to a specialist equity release adviser.

The industry’s regulatory body, the Equity Release Council, insists that all customers must receive advice before signing up for a lifetime mortgage. This rule helps to prevent equity release horror stories from happening and ensures customers explore all the alternatives before committing to a plan.

That good news is that our friendly selected advisers are here to help homeowners in Belfast to:

  • Verify your eligibility
  • Check if a plan is actually the best financial option for you
  • Search for the most competitive equity release quotations
  • Explain all the pros and cons of each type of plan
  • Help you decide which plan best suits your wants and needs
  • Expertly guide you through the application process through to completion

Our selected advisers are ready and waiting to help you explore your Belfast equity release options and find the best plan for your needs. 

Please call 0808 178 3055, or request a call back for a time that suits you. Alternatively, check your eligibility and get an initial indication of how much tax-free cash you could release.

About Clare Yates. With over a decade’s experience writing about later life financial planning, Clare offers a wealth of knowledge about equity release, pension annuities, wills, LPAs and more. When she isn’t writing, Clare likes to spend her time baking and going on walks with her husband, two children and their rescue dog. Follow Clare on LinkedIn

How can we help?

To find out more about equity release or arrange a consultation with an adviser, please call or request a call back and we’ll be happy to help further.

Let’s talk

Let us help with your questions or arrange a quote.

Call 0808 178 3055

Request a call back

Book a call at a time that suits you and we’ll call you back.

Request a call back

Are you eligible?

Find out how much tax-free cash you could release.

Check now

Apply for your no-obligation equity release quote

Find out if you qualify for equity release and how much you could borrow. Just click ‘Get started’ or call us on 0808 178 3055 and one of our team will be delighted to help arrange a free consultation and quote*.

Start your quote journey icon

1. Start your quote journey

Simply click ‘Get started’ to begin your search for the best plan for your circumstances.

Tell us what you need icon

2. Tell us what you need

Fill out some simple details about your situation so we can start to prepare your quote.

Compare your best deals icon

3. Compare your best deals

You’ll get personalised quotes tailored to your unique circumstances and goals.

Related blogs

Read more about equity release and other consumer finance matters.