Global Equity Release Survey: ERIC CEO

London, 27 January 2021The European Pensions and Property Asset Release Group (EPPARG) and EY have today published the Global Equity Release Roundtable 2020 survey report, which predicts the global equity release market could more than treble over the next 10 years.

Kevin Conlon, CEO of the Equity Release Industry Council (ERIC)of Australia said:

“The challenge of funding a dignified retirement is a global issue and the solution offered through equity release is often not well understood by those who would benefit most from accessing their housing wealth in this way. We congratulate EPPARG on the leadership role they have taken in ensuring a better informed market through the release of the 2020 Global Equity Release Roundtable survey report”.

The survey report can be accessed here.

Equity Release for Good Behaviour


Kevin Conlon CEO -Equity Release Industry Council

For many years the reverse mortgage product was the only equity release option available in Australia and despite the recent emergence of non-debt solutions, it is the reverse mortgage that most retirees have relied on to unlock their housing wealth.

More than 40,000 Australians have a reverse mortgage and more than $4 billion of housing wealth has been unlocked in order that these retirees can choose to live the life they want in retirement.

As the chief executive of the the Equity Release Industry Council (ERIC), I have had the opportunity to closely observe the professional conduct of mortgage brokers and financial advisers working in this important sector and it continues to trouble me that despite a remarkably good track record, reverse mortgages continue to attract poorly-informed negative commentary.

Some time ago, the then Chief ombudsman of the Financial Ombudsman Scheme, Colin Neave AM noted that, “Of the 38,000 existing mortgage borrowers in Australia only five have lodged a complaint and of those complaints four were resolved through provider co-operation with no evidence of wrong doing on the part of the provider. What other industry can boast that level of consumer satisfaction”? A good question indeed!

I recently conducted a thorough review of the case work undertaken by the new consumer watchdog agency to see how things have been tracking since the Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA) took over responsibility for determining the outcomes of any consumer complaints and it is good news for reverse mortgages.

Despite many more thousands of senior Australians taking out a reverse mortgage each year, the total number of consumer complaints now stands at only thirty seven with compelling evidence of continued good industry practice clearly emerging from a close examination of these cases. By my reckoning there are only six cases were the provider was determined to be at fault

It is somewhat amazing that of those six adverse determinations, four were based on the providers failure to ensure that the client obtained independent legal advice, one was based on a failure to ensure that the client obtained independent financial  advice (their own lending guidelines, not a regulatory obligation) and one failed to properly document the loan.

Of course, these limited failures are important and it is good to see that the consumer protection system is working well.

The Equity Release Industry Council (ERIC) is committed to ensuring that senior Australians are able to rely on an efficient and ethical equity release market and I have witnessed, first hand, the significant and positive client outcomes that have been achieved over the past fifteen years through the appropriate use of equity release.

The track record of reverse mortgages looks good to me.

Live Long… Live well!


Australians prepared to pay to avoid residential care

Australians prepared to pay to avoid residential care

“When asked about their willingness to pay to receive an extended home care package to allow them to remain living at home rather than entering a residential care facility, a significant majority of respondents indicated a willingness to pay a co-contribution to facilitate this,” the  Flinders University researchers found.

Read more…

Australians prepared to pay to avoid residential care


Adviser Accreditation points to improved industry standards of practice…


Arthur Naomidis, CEO

An application to the DomaCom Fund can only be facilitated via a licensed DomaCom-accredited financial adviser who has successfully completed the DomaCom’s Adviser Accreditation Program.

Call to Action:
I invite to to become one of the first financial services professionals to participate in the DomaCom Accreditation delivered by Mentor Education Group.

The Fractional Property Investment (FPI) market represents a significant opportunity for properly trained professionals to extend their client reach and assist investors to acquire an asset allocation to a property of their choice.

The DomaCom Accreditation program is mapped to industry-based Continuing Professional Development policies so that your DomaCom Accreditation will be recognised as providing the key skills required to provide advice to clients considering Fractionalised Property Investment (“FPI”) strategies.

DomaCom is committed to the process of ensuring that advisers are well placed to provide FPI strategies assist their clients to make informed decisions. The program attracts 1.5 hours Continuing Professional Development

Participation in the DomaCom Accreditation Program will assist advisers to develop a successful FPI practice through a better understanding of:

  • Property Investment Liquidity & Diversification
  • The Challenge of SMSF Property Asset Allocation
  • “Asset Rich but Cash Poor” Retirement Funding
  • Step Up to DomaCom Accreditation.

Same, Same but Different…

Household Capital enters Australian retirement sector with innovative new retirement loan


Household Capital, an independent, specialist retirement funding provider, has announced it has entered the Australian retirement sector with an innovative loan product that allows retirees to use equity in the family home to fund retirement expenses, enhance income or provide financial support to their children and other family members.

Household Capital provides Australian home owners access to additional retirement funds by using a low interest rate loan to transfer a portion of the value of their homes into their superannuation fund or an investment account.  Those who access the loan have guaranteed lifelong occupancy of their home and never have to repay more than the value of their home.

The Household Loan is designed to meet the needs of Australian retirees by allowing them to balance their savings, continue to grow their assets during retirement, and harvest a sustainable income from their investments.

Joshua Funder, Chief Executive Officer of Household Capital, said Australians were living longer but many did not have enough super savings to provide sufficient income throughout retirement.

“Retirees want to stay at home, but many are struggling to make ends meet as they age,” Mr Funder said. “Our goal is to deliver a values-based service to help Australian retirees Live Well At Home.

“We combine a retiree’s home equity, superannuation and aged pension to provide adequate, reliable, lifelong retirement funding while the retiree continues to live at home.

“It provides responsible and flexible access to lifetime savings, allowing retirees to make sound economic and lifestyle choices.”

There is currently over $900 billion in untapped home equity owned by Australian retirees, with approximately 80% of retirees owning their own home.

Yet the average retiree’s super balance lasts only 10-15 years into retirement, leaving many Australians living on inadequate income or reliant on the age pension in their final years.

The Household Loan allows retirees to access their home equity to:

  • Enhance retirement income delivered through superannuation or investment accounts
  • Pay for home renovations throughout retirement
  • Fund in-home health and aged-care costs
  • Support other family members with first home deposits and education expenses
  • Fund the transition to supported aged care accommodation
  • Refinance home loans where repayments reduce retirement income
  • Guarantee lifetime home occupancy.

Competitive rates

Household Capital has accessed wholesale funding to offer customers highly competitive interest rates, significantly lower than those previously charged by the banks.

Household Capital does not pay commission or trailing commission to brokers and there are no ‘break costs’ or hidden fees. Instead, Household Capital’s financial services are delivered alongside superannuation funds or financial advisers to fit each retiree’s specific needs.

Household Capital receives an establishment fee to cover the costs of putting the loan in place and interest is charged on the capital drawn from a person’s home. The final amount is paid when the person leaves the home and the house is sold.

Mr Funder said Household Capital’s proposition appealed to a broad range of home owners because it was suitable for all stages of retirement.

“Household Capital’s loan is suitable for people approaching retirement who have a low superannuation balance that needs a boost,” Mr Funder said.  “It also works for those people in mid-retirement who may have depleted their superannuation and need more income, as well as those retirees who may need funding for the transition to supported care.”

Broader economic benefits

Nick Sherry, Household Capital Chair and former Federal Minister for Superannuation, said governments around the world were struggling with the dilemma of ageing populations and smaller workforces – at a time when the costs of healthcare, aged care and pensions are increasing.

With Australia’s median household superannuation balance at retirement currently around $200,000 and the median value of home ownership at retirement $700,000 – Household Capital’s offering potentially releases billions of dollars into the economy to meet the real needs of retirees and their families, Mr Sherry said.

“For many Australians, ageing in the home you’ve been living in helps maintain family and community networks and use of local services,” Mr Sherry said.

“Selling the family home can result in loss of entitlement to the aged pension and the cost of buying and moving to a new home can mean significant loss of capital.

“We want to make a significant positive impact on the wellbeing of retired Australians. The substantial savings held by Australians in their family homes is a largely untapped resource that can be better utilised to help retirees live well at home.”

DomaCom launches Australia’s first Equity Release Financial Product

DomaCom launches senior equity release product

The ASX-listed investment platform has released a first of its kind senior equity release product for Australia, targeting financial advisers working with clients over 60.

DomaCom’s senior equity release product launched this week with an accreditation course that will enable advisers to provide sign-off to seniors over the age of 60 who are looking for an equity release on their home.

Read more: DomaComSenior Equity ReleaseAustraliaArthur NaoumidisASIC

Equity Release in Australia… Rising from the ashes?

A Look At Australia’s Reverse Mortgage Market

A Look At Australia’s Reverse Mortgage Market

What are Reverse Mortgages?

A reverse mortgage is a loan secured by a homeowner who is 60 or older, that enables him to convert his home equity into cash by borrowing against the value of their home. The borrower can receive the funds in the form of lump sum amount/fixed monthly payment/ line of credit. However, the reverse mortgage does not require monthly mortgage payments like the traditional mortgage. Also, the ownership of the home remains with the borrower with a reverse mortgage.

After obtaining a reverse mortgage, the borrowers must pay taxes and insurance on the property and keep the home in good repair. The home equity built up by the elders can be accessed with reverse mortgage, and the entire loan balance is payable when they sell, die or move out of the home.

Features of Reverse Mortgages

The following are the primary features of reverse mortgages:

  • Interest is charged on a reverse mortgage like any other loan, but the borrower need not pay the interest during the course of the loan. The interest gets compounded to the loan balance over time.
  • Borrowers are the owners of the home and can use it as their primary residence.
  • A reverse mortgage is designed for the borrowers that are typically ‘asset rich’ but ‘cash poor’.
  • It is ideal for the person who is retired, and no income is required to qualify for a reverse mortgage.
  • Unless the borrowers voluntarily pay out the loan, there is no need to pay anything until they sell their home, or they die.
  • The borrower must be over a certain age to qualify for a reverse mortgage.
  • The amount of the loan size is determined by many factors like current interest rates, the borrower’s age, the property’s location, property value, etc.

Benefits of Reverse Mortgages

Sponsored ad by Kalkine

A reverse mortgage became popular due to certain benefits associated with it. The following are the benefits of a reverse mortgage:

  • Ownership remains with the borrower: Compared with paying rent, the benefit of retaining ownership with a reverse mortgage is a significant advantage for the borrower.
  • Source of family wealth: As long as property prices continue to increase, the appreciation in the value of the family home will provide better after-tax returns than conservative investments.
  • Tax-Free: The money received from a reverse mortgage is tax-free, whether received as a fixed regular income or in a lump sum.
  • Protected against falling housing prices: The borrowers taking a reverse mortgage loan are protected against a decline in property price. Even if the property price falls and the loan amount becomes more than the value of the home at the time of repayment, the government insurance will cover the difference.
  • Free of Restrictions: The amount received from a reverse mortgage could be used for any purpose by the borrower as there is no restriction on the usage of the funds. One can use it for home renovations and maintenance, an overseas holiday, payment of credit card bills, education costs for grandchildren or any other purpose.

Reverse Mortgage v/s Traditional Mortgage

The Health of Australia’s Reverse Mortgage Program

The ASIC (Australian Securities and Investments Commission) began with a review of lending for reverse mortgages in mid-2017. The review was focussed on the reverse mortgage lending from 2013–17 under which the regulator commissioned in-depth interviews with 30 borrowers. The review report mentioned that the demand for equity release products would be affected by the growing population of older Australians.

The following are the key highlights of the ASIC’s review:

  • Reverse mortgages enabled older Australians to achieve their immediate financial objectives.
  • The risk of negative equity got eliminated with the introduction of enhanced consumer protections by the Australian government in 2012. The enhanced consumer protections were announced to help consumers in making wiser choices about reverse mortgages.
  • A substantial proportion of borrowers might not identify the effect of equity erosion on their potential future needs.
  • There were few alternatives available to a reverse mortgage due to a lack of competition.
  • The contracts of the lenders under review contained potentially unfair terms.
  • There was no tenancy protection for other residents in the home in some loans.
  • Some loan applications were identified in which lenders could reduce the risk of financial elder abuse.

Concerns Raised by ASIC in Review

The ASIC raised following concerns over the health of Australia’s reverse mortgage program in the review:

  • The lenders focused primarily on the borrower’s short-term objectives, ignoring their possible future needs.
  • About 92 per cent of the loan files reviewed did not contain any evidence regarding the broker or bank discussing with borrowers that how a loan might affect their ability to afford possible future needs.
  • Lack of competition in the reverse mortgage space would probably result in inflating interest rates and fees.

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission warned the Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX: CBA), Heartland Group Holdings Limited (ASX: HGH) and Bankwest over reverse mortgages in August 2018. The regulator called for scrutiny of the stigmatised reverse mortgage product as ASIC found that the lenders primarily focussed on the borrower’s short-term objectives.


Banks Withdrawing from Reverse Mortgages Market

By 2006, there were more than twenty banks, non-bank lenders and credit unions that offered reverse mortgage loans in Australia. However, many of these institutions stopped offering new reverse mortgages between 2008 and 2010 due to the global financial crisis. The reverse mortgage market showed some signs of recovery in 2014.

But, the Westpac Banking Corporation (ASX: WBC) and Macquarie Group Limited (ASX: MQG) withdrew from the reverse mortgage market in late 2017 due to the growing demand for reverse mortgage loans in Australia owing to costs and regulation pressures.

The CBA and Bankwest (CBA’s subsidiary) also announced their withdrawal from the reverse mortgage market in October 2018. The banks informed that they will not sell any reverse mortgage products from January 1st, 2019. The CBA’s reverse mortgage product ‘Equity Unlock for Seniors’ was withdrawn in the wake of the scrutiny of the reverse mortgage market by ASIC.

Why Did Banks Walkout of Reverse Mortgages Market?

Several banks left the reverse mortgage market due to increasing costs and tougher regulation. In the reverse mortgage, the loan is to be paid by the borrowers when they die, sell, or move out of the home. Thus, the house pricing risk gets shifted to the lender, increasing their costs on providing reverse mortgage products. If the borrower lives a long time or the house prices fall, the entire burden is levied on the lender.

Also, the reverse mortgages are expensive for lenders as the borrowers need not make any repayments, and the interest rates get compounded. With a perception of higher interest rates and higher fees, the banks decided to withdraw from the market.

Banks Offering Reverse Mortgages in Australia

With many companies withdrawing from providing the reverse mortgage products in Australia, only a few lenders remained in the reverse mortgage space like Heartland Seniors Finance, P&N Bank and IMB Bank. One of these companies is listed on the Australian Stock Exchange. Let us take a look at its reverse mortgage product below:

About Heartland Group Holdings Limited

The Heartland Group Holdings Limited (ASX: HGH) headquartered in New Zealand, provides banking services through its subsidiaries. The company’s reverse mortgage loan is designed for the needs of seniors. A Heartland Reverse Mortgage enable borrowers to get access to the finances required to make their life more comfortable, easier and enjoyable in retirement. The company’s current Standard Reverse Mortgage interest rate is 6.54 per cent, and it could change from time to time due to the variations in the funding market and economy.

Financial Performance

The company reported a net profit after tax of $33.1 million during the half-year period ending 31st December 2018. Also, it reported a reverse mortgage growth of 24.9 per cent and reverse mortgages gross finance receivables of $733.3 million in Australia during the period.

Stock Performance

The company’s stock last traded on 16th May 2019 at AUD 1.500. The stock has delivered a YTD return of 14.94 per cent.

Reverse Mortgages in Demand with Falling Interest Rates

As the interest rates in Australia are at the record low levels of 1.25 per cent and are still expected to drop further, the reverse mortgages option is becoming popular among the retirees. The reverse mortgage provides regular cash payments and enable retirees to borrow at a cheaper rate compared to other traditional mortgage options. The retirees are thus considering it as an alternative to generate income without taking big risks. It has become a more attractive option as it is cheaper and more flexible than commercial options. Also, it is becoming popular as many Australians have built up large reserves of home equity in spite of recent price falls.


This website is a service of Kalkine Media Pty. Ltd. A.C.N. 629 651 672. The website has been prepared for informational purposes only and is not intended to be used as a complete source of information on any particular company. Kalkine Media does not in any way endorse or recommend individuals, products or services that may be discussed on this site. Our publications are NOT a solicitation or recommendation to buy, sell or hold. We are neither licensed nor qualified to provide investment advice.

DomaCom to offer Equity Release Solution

Comprehensive Income Products for Retirement (“CIPR”).

The Treasury has today appointed an Industry Reference Council to guide the development of financial products that may suit Asset Rich but Cash Poor retirees.

The DomaCom submission is particularly interesting as they are challenging the rules to get a better deal for Senior Australians…