21 March 2016, 00:00

Over 50s struggling to make essential home repairs

• Roofs and heating are among the most common things that need repairing
• Around 66,000 over 50s will take out a loan to fix central heating
• 120,000 people in their 50s may use pension freedoms to pay for home repairs

The over 50s homes are in need of more than a spring clean or lick of paint this Easter as half of people (45%) say their home is in need of repairs, according to research by The Saga Equity Release Advice Service*.

While the most common things that need fixing in the over 50s homes are gutters (13%), many are in need of more essential repairs, 1 in 9 say their roof needs repairing (11%) and 1 in 11 say their heating is broken (9%). Furthermore, 1 in 14 need some electrical work carrying out (7%) and 6% say they could do with a visit from a plumber.

However some people are struggling to pay for these essential repairs out of their wages or pension. Saga estimates that 66,000 over 50s will take out a loan to pay someone to fix their heating, while almost 75,000 people will borrow money to repair a leaking roof.

Around 120,000 people aged 50 to 59 say they will take advantage of the pension freedoms and use their lump sum to fix things in and around their home, which may leave some struggling to fund their retirement.

However, around 550,000 over 50s won’t fork out for a tradesman. Around one in five say they can’t afford to pay someone to do the work needed, while the same number of people say they are going to try and fix it themselves to avoid the extra cost.

People in Edinburgh are the most likely to say something in the home needs fixing (54%), while those in Milton Keynes are the least likely to say something in or around the house is broken or damaged (36%).

Alex Edmans, head of retirement, Saga Personal Finance, commented: “They say home is where the heart is but it’s not where the heat is if the roof is leaking or the window frames rattle in the wind. Keeping on top of repairs is essential as leaving repairs for too long may exacerbate the problem and end up costing you more in the long run. If you are worrying about how to pay for the repairs it’s worthwhile exploring all your funding options as soon as possible so you can make sure the situation doesn’t get worse.”

Almost 60% of people who use the Saga Equity Release Advice Service use some of the money they release from their home to repair or improve their property. On average people say they use £10,000 for home improvements**.


Notes to Editors
*Populus interviewed 9,539 people aged 50 and over online between 16th and 22nd February 2016. Results have been weighted to be representative of all GB adults. Populus is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules. For more information visit www.populus.co.uk.
**Based on analysis of Saga Equity Release Advice Service customers.

About Saga Equity Release Advice Service
If you are a UK homeowner aged 55 or over, equity release could offer you a way to access money tied up in your home, by allowing you:
• To release a tax-free lump sum to help you make the most of your retirement
• The ability to release the cash when you need it
• The freedom to spend the cash on almost anything you choose.
The Saga Equity Release Advice Service, provided by Just Retirement Solutions Limited, can help you decide if equity release could be right for you.



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