Pure Retirement has started the new year by making changes to its heritage range criteria, aiming to give consumers more choice when it comes to managing their affairs in later life.
The new criteria sees the range reacting to the increasing interest in equity release from those in age-restricted properties.
These are now catered for under heritage products, providing the property is worth over £200,000 and has a resale value of under 3%. The maximum loan-to-value (LTV) available will be two thirds of those for standard properties.
Other changes to the criteria include flat roofs being considered up to 30% (compared to 25% in 2019 criteria), maximum acreage is increasing to five acres (versus three last year) and leasehold properties will be considered if leases have a minimum of over 100 years remaining (previously 120 years minimum).
Annexes where a carer or relative are residing will also be considered, subject to them being on the same title as the property with shared council tax and utilities. Finally, if a listed occupier is a spouse or civil partner they must now be an owner of the property and party to the mortgage.
The heritage range, launched in March 2018, brought whole-of-market ERC-free partial repayment options to consumers as part of a wider strategy to open up later life lending to as many people as possible, and later benefited from further enhancements which included reducing the minimum age on all plans to 55.
Speaking of the changes, Brendan Gilligan, head of product delivery, comments: “As the market continues to grow we have a certain responsibility as a lender to continue evolving our product offering and ensuring we’re offering product solutions that meet customer needs.”
“These criteria changes mainly open up our products to more customers and property types, particularly to customers who reside in age-restricted properties, an area which is somewhat underserved in the equity release market.”
With an estimated 725,000 retirement housing units in the UK, the heritage criteria change could allow more owners of these property types the chance to access equity in the property and support them in enjoying their later years.
“This is the first of many planned improvements to our product offering in 2020 as we continue working towards developing ambitious and innovative retirement solutions for the benefit of both of our adviser network and the end customer,” he concludes.