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Equity release in kent

By Clare Yates • 10th August 2023 • 6 min read

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

Written in line with our editorial policy.

Wondering how to arrange equity release in Kent? Our guide helps you explore your options, provides information on  how much other homeowners are unlocking in your region, and more.

The Equity Release Council reported a 13% increase in sales of equity release in the South East between 2017 and 2021. With average house prices increasing in Kent by over £165k in the last ten years alone, some later life homeowners in the county made the most of the opportunity to release tax-free cash from their growing property wealth. 

To help you gather better understand the opportunities of equity release, we’ll be discussing the following in today’s article:

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

We hope this article will help you understand more about arranging equity release in Kent. For further help 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?

Equity release plans enable homeowners aged 55 or over to unlock a tax-free cash lump sum from the value of your home. Holidays, home improvements, gifting to family members and clearing the mortgage are just some of the more popular reasons for arranging equity release.

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

Average Kent property value rises by £165k 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 Kent alone, homeowners have seen the average house price rise by £165,611 over the last decade – a staggering growth of 59%.

The increase means that thousands of homeowners across the county are likely to have more equity in their properties than when they bought them. Releasing some of this equity could be a big help for homeowners in need of additional income or a lump sum.

When a homeowner requests a calculation of how much they can potentially 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 Kent equity release begins with a breakdown of property prices in the country over the last decade.

Land Registry analysis of Kent 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 may have benefited substantially in that time from the overall market increases.

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

Kent house prices vs UK average: 2013 – 2023

YearUK averageKent average
2013£171,234£197,730
2014£185,476£214,919
2015£195,313£232,790
2016£210,872£261,958
2017£219,954£276,467
2018£226,834£289,726
2019£229,061£290,551
2020£231,508£294,068
2021£251,285£317,024
2022£280,433£350,764
2023£285,861£363,341

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

What does the house price boom mean for Kent equity release?

Later life homeowners in Kent potentially have a huge amount of equity sitting in their homes today. But how much tax-free money can homeowners in Kent unlock?

Equity release plans typically allow homeowners to unlock between 20-60% of their property’s value. Exactly how much you can release depends on age (the older you are the more you can unlock), property type and the location of their home. Health is also taken into account, with some qualifying conditions entitling the homeowner to a higher cash release.

The table below gives an example of how much equity a typical 71-year-old living in Kent might have been able to release from their home through equity release over the last decade:

Equity release potential for a typical 71-year-old Kent homeowner: 2013-2023

YearAverage Kent house valueExample tax-free cash available with equity release
Q2 2013£197,730£79,092
Q2 2014£214,919£85,968
Q2 2015£232,790£93,116
Q2 2016£261,958£104,783
Q2 2017£276,467£110,587
Q2 2018£289,726£115,890
Q2 2019£290,551£116,220
Q2 2020£294,068£117,627
Q2 2021£317,024£126,810
Q2 2022£350,764£140,306
Q2 2023£363,341£145,336

(These are example figures based on a 74-year-old releasing 40% of the total value of their home with a standard lifetime mortgage.)

The homeowner we’ve based these figures on could potentially unlock £29,446 more than they could have done just five years ago. Furthermore, they could potentially now access a huge £66,244 extra tax-free cash than a decade ago, simply for owning their home.

What are the main types of equity release in Kent?

If you are considering equity release, Kent homeowners can arrange a lifetime mortgage or a home reversion plan.

Lifetime mortgages are the most popular type of plan as you will continue to own 100% of your home. There are different features of a lifetime mortgage to select from, including:

  • 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.

A home reversion plan is available to homeowners aged 60 or over and may enable you to release a higher amount than a lifetime mortgage. This involves selling all or some of your home to a reversion company in exchange for a tax-free cash lump sum. You then live in your home as a tenant, paying no rent.

Am I eligible for equity release in Kent?

To be considered for equity release, Kent homeowners must:

  • Be aged 55+ for a lifetime mortgage, or 60+ for home reversion (both of you if making a joint application).
  • Have a home in the UK 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 free equity release calculator to see how much you could unlock from your home.

Not yet 55? You may still be able to access some of your equity. Read how in our article: “How to release equity if you are under 55.”

How can I arrange equity release in Kent?

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

The UK equity release industry body that sets standards to protect consumers, the Equity Release Council, stipulates that all customers must receive advice before agreeing to a plan. 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 there to help homeowners in Kent 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 to help you explore your Kent equity release options and find the best plan for your needs. So why wait any longer?

Please call 0808 178 3055, or request a call back for a time that suits you and our team will arrange an appointment for 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.

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