Mortgages 

Record £1bn equity released from homes in last quarter

Record £1bn equity released from homes in last quarter

A record of more than £1bn of property wealth unlocked in last quarter, according to the sector’s trade body.

The Equity Release Council’s latest quarterly lending figures show £1.02bn in equity was released between July and September, equivalent to £11m every day.

The quarterly figure was a 24 per cent increase on the same period last year as a record 12,016 new equity release plans were agreed over the three months.

The market has continued to grow to meet customer demand, with the number of products available in the market trebling in the past two years.

According to the Equity Release Council the average amount of property wealth unlocked by new customers has been broadly consistent as borrowers withdraw equity in modest amounts.

Drawdown products were the most popular choice with three in five new customers choosing the plan over lump sum products.

 

Last month the Government backed a recommendation by the Housing, Communities and Local Government select committee for equity release to be signposted as a home finance option for older people.

David Burrowes, chairman of the Equity Release Council, said the equity release market was making an increasingly important contribution to the later life landscape on an individual, social and economic level.

He said: "Government, regulators and industry must continue to seek ways to help people take a more rounded approach to later life financial planning.

"No one solution suits every individual need, and there is no doubt more people can benefit from considering property wealth alongside pensions, savings and other assets when making financial decisions – both for themselves and for those around them."

Mr Burrowes said as the range of later life products continued to grow it was vital to encourage customers to consider all available options and ensure they can access appropriate guidance and specialist advice.

Steve Ellis, chief executive at Legal & General Home Finance, said the £1bn milestone showed homeowners were clearly continuing to realise the role property wealth can play in later life.

He said: "We see a bright future ahead for lifetime mortgages and we remain committed to working with the regulator to grow this market in a safe and sustainable manner with a prudent approach to lending.

"The next step in the evolution of this market is to ensure the message about using housing equity in retirement is getting out to homeowners across the country.

"For that to happen we need more advisers to enter the lifetime mortgage market, from mortgage brokers to wealth managers, to truly support their clients from their first home to showing them how they can make their property wealth work for a better retirement."

rachel.addison@ft.com