We’ve given our Downsizing Range a makeover, managing director of mortgages, Matt Burton, explains why these changes and why now.
First of all, what’s changed?
Quite a lot to be honest. The range has had a complete overhaul and we’ve introduced four variations of each of our Lump Sum and Flexible Mortgage products including those with extended LTVs, giving customers a total of 16 options to choose from.
The changes include:
- A choice of variable or fixed eight-year ERCs
- Downsizing protection from day one with the option to sell up and repay from proceeds of sale with no early repayment charges from inception
- Rates from 3.54%
- Fee-free options
- Age range from 55-88
- Extended LTVs and loans to £600,000
- Discounted survey fees across entire range.
What’s prompted this shake-up?
Customer demand combined with adviser feedback has pushed us to make these changes. Since the beginning of the year we’ve committed a great deal of time to learning more about what customers want from our products.
We’re later-life experts at Hodge, but the fact is, later-life is changing – for a start, 50 isn’t really what I’d think of as “later-life”, so we’ve focused on understanding what the mature borrowing market looks like.
Our own data shows the majority of customers use equity release to fund their retirement or to gift to family members, we wanted to make sure we were giving them as much flexibility as possible to do this.
What stands out to you as the most significant change?
Without doubt, it’s the fact we now offer downsizing protection from day one, something no one else is doing.
Downsizing protection is something we introduced as we found the main reason customers paid off their mortgage was because they had moved to a smaller home. However, this previously came with an early repayment charge and an early release fee up to year five – but not anymore.
I think this gives our customers greater freedom in their retirement years.
What does this mean for advisers?
The most exciting thing about this for advisers is the huge amount of flexibility we’re now offering. Ultimately, everything we’ve chosen to do is done with the customer in mind, but of course, putting the customer first is a huge benefit to advisers too as it gives you more to offer your clients.
We’ve added our Mortgage Selector tool to help advisers understand the products available that could suit their client – essential with so many variations to choose from.