Unfortunately I can’t predict this weekend’s lottery numbers or who will win the Premier League in May, but I think I have a fair idea of how the equity release market will pan out in 2013 so bear with me.
Last year was an encouraging year for the sector and there is no reason to believe that this growth can’t continue into 2013.
It is down to all stakeholders in the equity release market to ensure this palpable demand is capitalised upon and the good work started by the Equity Release Council in 2012 in terms of raising the sector’s profile will be continued this year and beyond.
Advisers can also help in promoting the benefits of equity release and we could well see an influx of intermediaries into the sector as various regulatory changes take hold.
Full implementation of the Mortgage Market Review may well be more than a year away, but conscientious advisers are bound to start putting plans into place well in advance of April 2014 and diversification into new areas such as equity release may well be part of that.
After all, if advisers are confronted with mature clients that are beset by some of the aforementioned problems and difficulties, then it may well be regarded as remiss of them if they don’t at least consider all the options available to them, equity release included.
Home reversion plans and lifetime mortgages aren’t just for those feeling the pinch though and we are likely to see the continuation of the Bank of Mum and Dad turning into the Bank of Grandma and Granddad phenomena in 2013.
So, onwards and upwards is very much the message for the equity release market in 2013. Growth won’t just happen if the key market protagonists sit back and wait for it to happen, but with a concerted effort from all involved there is no reason why more people can’t start benefiting from equity release over the coming twelve months.
Various estimates place the size of the market in 2012 as around £1bn, so with greater consumer education and Government buy-in going forward, this figure can hopefully be matched and improved upon in 2013.
Chris Prior is manager sales and distribution at Bridgewater Equity Release