Releasing housing equity in later life: markets, consumers and the role of the state

Louise Overton, Lorna Fox O'Mahony

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The role of equity release transactions in enabling older owners to draw down on their housing wealth to meet needs and wants in later life is a prominent policy trope in many asset-based welfare systems. Framed by the enactment of the Consumer Credit Legislation Amendment (Enhancement) Act 2012 (Cth) in which the Federal Government established regulatory jurisdiction over reverse mortgage transactions and drawing on empirical research into the uses and risks
of housing equity withdrawal mechanisms in Australia,' this article compares the recent Australian experience of equity release with the longer-established UK equity release market. Reaching across the demographic, socio-economic and policy contexts which are widely regarded as setting the scene for increasing use of housing wealth to fund financial needs after retirement, to the nature and development of equity release markets, this article draws on the UK experience to reflect on patterns of supply and demand, on the needs, circumstances
and objectives of the equity release consumer population, and on the role of the state, through law and policy, in mediating the transactional interface between consumers and markets to support the matrix of consumer interests, industry growth and related government policy agendas implicated in the equity release market.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)115-141
JournalLaw in Context
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2015


Dive into the research topics of 'Releasing housing equity in later life: markets, consumers and the role of the state'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this