Equity Release 

Annual equity release lending at ten year high

Annual equity release lending at ten year high

Annual equity release lending growth is at a ten year high as product flexibilities grow, according to the Equity Release Council Autumn 2016 market report.

Equity release lending grew by £198m between the first halves of 2015 and 2016, the highest level seen for over a decade, according to the report.

Consumer demand for releasing housing wealth to help fund later life is continuing to grow, with lending in the second quarter of 2016 exceeding £500m for the first time and setting a new record for the highest quarterly lending total.

The first half of 2016 saw £908m of lending from members of The Council, which was £198m (or 28 per cent) higher than the equivalent period of 2015.

In value terms, this £198m growth was the highest seen in the last decade, surpassing £160m in the first quarter in 2014.

According to the Equity Release Council, the rise has come at a time when more providers and products have appeared on the market.

Research by Moneyfacts in March showed the range of equity release products has grown by 34 per cent year-on-year and more than doubled compared with three years ago.

Andrea Rozario, chief corporate officer at Bower Retirement said the responsibility now is for the industry to ensure more customers become aware of the option of using property wealth to support retirement planning.

“It is striking that around half of new plans being sold enable customers to make voluntary repayments highlighting how the market is shifting to more retirement lending," she said.

“The market has been evolving, improving and becoming more cost-effective than ever before underlining the need for expert independent advice for consumers and the benefits for advisers in working in the sector.”