Demand for equity release reaches all-time high

Equity release plans have now “entered the mainstream,” according to The Equity Release Council Spring 2019 Market Report.

The latest data shows that 43,879 homeowners aged 55 and over unlocked money from the value of their properties – this includes 25,907 new plans.

Lifetime mortgages account for a third of all mortgages taken out by homeowners aged 50 onwards, compared to less than a fifth just a decade ago. The average amount of wealth accessed from drawdown lifetime mortgages, where homeowners can unlock the cash from their property as and when they need it, compared to one lump sum, was £64,389 for new plans and, for those returning to withdraw a little more cash, the average was £10,927.

In fact, consumers will find the equity release industry continuously improves its safeguarding. For example, around 87% of new equity release plans taken out let customers make voluntary additional repayments without early repayment charges.

David Burrowes, Chairman of the Equity Release Council, said “Industry, regulators and Government must continue to explore how we can help generations of retirees, both today and in the future, to adopt a more rounded approach to later life planning. Equity release now plays a pivotal social role and the Equity Release Council will continue to ensure that products are underpinned by robust consumer safeguards.”

Burrowes also continued to explain that equity release plans could be a “vital tool for consumers looking to make the most of their financial resources in later life. Older homeowners are realising in growing numbers that property wealth can play a crucial role in supporting their retirement alongside pensions, savings and other assets.”

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