Hampstead, home town of celebrity Tom Conti

Celebrity Equity Release

For those of us working into our 60s and 70s to clear our mortgages and rid ourselves of credit card repayments, it can be hard to feel much pity for celebrities living the high life. But spare a thought for these celebrities who might be finding it much harder to sell their UK homes this year.

Following the stamp duty hike in the April 2016 budget, some of the UK’s more pricier properties now have over a million pounds in tax added to the cost of purchasing them – meaning many sellers are having to push down their prices to appease disgruntled buyers.

For houses over £1.5 million, the stamp duty rate has been raised to a whopping 12 per cent. For those lucky enough to be able to purchase a home for £15 million today, you can expect to pay £1.7 million in stamp duty. The figures rises to £2.1 million if you have a second home!

Rather than selling their sprawling properties for far less than they are worth, should celebrities perhaps be considering alternate financial options, such as equity release?

How could equity release help?

Celebrities who are over 55 and thinking about selling their luxurious properties may find it cheaper to release some of the tax-free cash from their homes rather than sell them to buy another.

Whether it’s a cash boost to continue enjoying their jet setter lifestyles in their retirement years, or to pay for repairs and renovations to their sprawling properties, equity release could provide the financial safety net they are looking for.

We recently revealed that the average price of moving house today in the south-east is more than £20,000, including legal fees and repairs to the new property; the figures would be mind-boggling for celebrities buying and selling homes worth millions!

How much could wealthy homeowners unlock?

Here, we take a look at older celebrities currently trying to sell their homes, and reveal how much could they expect to unlock if they opted for equity release instead…

Celeb: Shirley Valentine star Tom Conti

  • Original asking price: £17.5million
  • Potential equity release amount: £8,225,000

Shirley Valentine star Tom Conti, 75, bought his Edwardian home in Hampstead, North London in 1985 with wife Kara, for just £165,000.

Built in 1902, it had been converted by the previous owners into four flats, so Tom and Kara spent a small fortune restoring the property to its former glory. Today it is a stunning five-bedroom house which features a ballroom, cinema and roof terrace.

The property was put up for sale in May 2015 for a cool £17.5million and has reportedly said the sale is partly down to living costs. With a potential £8,225,000 available to be unlocked through equity release to help with the costs of living there, maybe he will change his mind?

How much I could unlock with equity release?

Celeb: Uri Gellar

  • Asking price: £15million
  • Potential equity release amount: £5,970,000

Famous psychic and previous close friend of deceased singer Michael Jackson, Uri Geller, 69, is selling his Berkshire mansion.

His Sonning Court home of 35 years is decorated according to feng shui principles, consists of nine bedrooms, a talking toilet (it apparently asks your preference for ‘position and pressure’), an outdoor pool house, panic room, separate staff quarters, a wine cellar and a custom made brown velvet sofa that Michael Jackson enjoyed sleeping and meditating on.

His 12,000ft UK mansion also features a bar, cinema, gym, and even a helipad, and includes a stretch of the Thames with privately owned moorings.

Celeb: Sir Rod Stewart

  • Asking price: £7.1 million
  • Potential equity release amount: £2,996,200

Rod Stewart, 71, once said he would never sell his beloved Essex mansion, Wood House, that has been his home for 30 years. Times do change though, and now the home that has seen him through two wives, numerous girlfriends and the births of his youngest children, is now on the market for £7.1million.

He paid just £1.2million for his Epping home, called Wood House, in 1986, which features tennis courts, a swimming pool, stables, a full-sized football pitch and even a two-bedroom cottage nearby, and is set to make a tidy profit if he sells.

But if Rod changes his mind about leaving his home that holds so much personal history, he might be pleased to hear that he could release around £2,996,200 tax-free cash from his property to spend on anything he chooses – great news for a rock star with expensive tastes!

Are you considering equity release?

If a cash lump sum is the only thing stopping you from being able to enjoy your retirement to the full, then why not speak to one of our equity release specialists?

When it comes to unlocking the cash from your home’s value, seeking specialist advice is essential. We can explain everything to you, including how a plan will reduce the amount of inheritance you leave, and can talk you through all the different options available.

Call our friendly UK-based team today on 0800 411 8668

This is a lifetime mortgage or home reversion plan. To understand the features and risks, please ask for a personalised illustration. Bower Retirement Limited is Authorised and Regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Financial Services Register Number: 451607