Property finance solicitors

71% of solicitors fear their property finance knowledge is out of date

More than seven out of 10 solicitors (71%) fear that their property finance knowledge is out of date, according to new research.

A study by equity release referral service Key Partnerships found that 49% of solicitors were concerned that the advice they were being asked for goes beyond their core expertise.

Over half (51%) said enquiries about using property wealth to boost retirement income had grown in the past year, while 47% claimed they had had more enquiries about equity release to clear mortgages.

Solicitors also reported that advice enquiries were becoming increasing complex, with 22% stating that demand for advice on using property wealth to fund divorce or separation had increased, while 30% had seen a rise in demand for advice on funding second homes.

However, 39% admitted that they did not work with independent financial advice firms on mutual clients, despite the growing demand for property finance support.

Jason Ruse, head of Key Partnerships, said law firms were the most trusted source of advice and often the first port of call for clients who need help with their finances.

“But it is clear they are coming under pressure to provide advice on areas that are not necessarily their core expertise and that is creating issues.

“The record pace of growth in demand for [the] equity release market demonstrates the need for specialist advice on accessing property wealth.”

Last year, more than £3bn of equity release lending took place, while plan sales grew by more than 40%.

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