The equity release market grew by 33% over the last year, according to figures released by Safe Homes Income Plans (SHIP), with Norwich Union (NU) revealed as market leader.
The first six months of 2002 saw £313,186,163 worth of plans sold. SHIP splits its figures into mortgage products and reversion products, where part of the home is sold to an equity release company.
In the first six months of 2002 reversion plans to the value of £95m were sold, compared to £89m in the same period last year. The market is growing at 14% a year and SHIP estimates it will be worth £108m in 2004.
The current split between reversion plans to mortgage plans is 22% to 78%.
Almost £218m worth of mortgage plans were sold in the first six months, with 62% share of the mortgage plans market by volume going to NU. This translates into a total market share, including reversions, which NU does not sell, of 48% by volume.
Paul Stokes, head of marketing propositions for NU Equity, said: ‘People are realising equity release is good news and are delighted with the benefits it provides. For IFAs it is a great opportunity to offer clients a financial product they benefit from immediately.’
But Dean Mirfin, business development director of equity release specialists Key Retirement Solutions, said: ‘This is due to a lack of knowledge of what else is available and NU’s talent for marketing itself to IFAs. NU’s percentage is different in our own business, because it is not a case of one size fits all.’