Researchers from UNSW Business School will investigate behavioural and other issues behind the low uptake of reverse mortgages in Australia.
A reverse mortgage is a loan that enables homeowners to access their home equity; the homeowner can borrow without having to make repayments while living in the home.
Home equity is typically the largest component of total household wealth, so a reverse mortgage can complement superannuation and the age pension as a financial resource in retirement.
Senior Research Fellow Dr Katja Hanewald and Professor Hazel Bateman will investigate theoretical and empirical aspects of reverse mortgage demand and product design.
“While economic theory predicts that households would demand reverse mortgages to improve retirement funding, the take-up rates for reverse mortgages are low in Australia and internationally,” said Dr Hanewald.
The Business School is funding the two-year research project with industry partner Household Capital, which offers services to enable older Australians to combine their superannuation, pension and home equity to provide retirement funding.