Additionally, the typical amount released has risen from £70,000 last year to £78,000, an 11.4% growth in the average sum loaned.
Even within this year the sector has seen continued growth, with a 9% rise in total customers served from Q1 to Q2 and a 12% growth over the same period.
At present, customers are releasing £9.5m of property wealth a day, which makes understanding both your customers and their changing habits ever more important.
Reasons for needing
Even in the past twelve months, there have been significant changes in customer behaviour and their reasoning for wanting – or needing – to release capital from their homes.
One in five of applicants now use the funds they receive to pay off interest-only mortgage debt, while a further 32% use it to pay off outstanding credit card debt.
The main use for funds continues to be home improvements, with 63% of retired homeowners using at least some of their released capital on them.
Meanwhile 33% put their new wealth towards holidays and there’s been a sizeable increase in the gifting of money to family, with a 5% year-on-year rise, meaning that 28% of equity release customers now use released monies for this purpose.
As the sector continues to expand and to move inexorably towards an unprecedented landmark £1bn of lending in a single quarter, it’s more important than ever to truly understand our customers and to be aware of their changing needs.
Customer lives don’t stand still
While the sector’s product offering is more varied than ever and product innovation continues to bring increasing customer solutions to the market, the wider industry can only maintain its current success by continuing to be in tune with the needs and ambitions of our customers in their later years.
It’s something we’ve consistently done to better reflect market conditions and customer demographics.
The lives – and needs – of our customers don’t stand still, and neither should the industry’s own development.
While current headlines show a period of continued growth and success, this can only be maintained by ensuring product offerings remain in step with the changing needs of our potential clients.
Reviewing current product offerings and assessing new developments and innovations are vital in ensuring the industry continues its sustained (and sustainable) growth.