A specialist firm that assists pensioners seeking to access the federal government’s reverse mortgage scheme has seen demand for help increasing ahead of pending changes to the program, with the business passing a significant milestone in approvals.
Pension Boost chief executive Paul Rogan said the firm, which had seen a boost in applications for the government’s Home Equity Access Scheme (HEAS), reached the milestone of $100 million in reverse mortgage approvals for its clients accessing the scheme and was seeking to raise capital to meet new demand for assistance.
Rogan said the HEAS was one of the cheapest reverse mortgages available to pensioners and the addition of new features from 1 July would continue to make it attractive to the 9 million pensioners who own property.
Currently, the scheme pays a fortnightly amount to property-owning retirees and will introduce a lump sum option and ‘no negative equity guarantee’ so HEAS borrowers or their estate will not be required to repay more than the market value of the property when sold.
“The recent growth in reverse mortgage options for retirees is important as more senior Australians prefer to age in their homes rather than being forced to downsize. Asset-rich, cash-poor seniors are increasingly seeking to supplement their retirement cash flow to help them make ends meet given rising cost of living pressures,” Rogan said.
“HEAS is a standout option because the scheme provides a regular fortnightly cash boost, is very competitively priced and, unlike commercial reverse mortgage options, the government accepts any type of real property anywhere in Australia as security for the scheme. Over 40 per cent of Pension Boost’s clients are from regional and rural areas.
“The expanding choice of reverse mortgage options is a positive industry development for those seniors living in the prime lending areas of capital cities and certain regional cities.
“The HEAS evens up the odds for the many Australian retirees who live outside these locations or in non-traditional housing.”