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Equity release lending hits record levels

by: Edward Murray
  • 21/10/2014
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Equity release lending hits record levels
Equity release lending has hit its highest quarterly level for six years with a figure of £375.5m recorded for Q3 2014, according to data from the Equity Release Council (ERC).

This was up by 15% on the previous quarter and takes the total for the first nine months of the year to over £1bn.

Nigel Waterson, chairman of the ERC, said rising costs for people in retirement and a strengthening housing market were driving demand.

“The latest lending figures show equity release is proving an invaluable financial planning solution for over-55s approaching retirement,” he added.

Despite the market’s strong performance, there is still room for significant growth in the equity release sector, according to Alice Watson, product and communications manager at Stonehaven.

“There are still some constraints in the market,” she said, “particularly around the low numbers of advisers who are qualified to give equity release advice.”

Looking to the future she added: “We expect to see further uplift as more people carrying residual mortgage debt through interest-only mortgages look to repay those debts over the coming years.”

A changing attitude towards inheritance is also pushing the equity release market forward as more people look to unlock the value tied up in their property to help out loved ones.

“Our figures show that homeowners aren’t just thinking of themselves,” said Steve Wilkie, managing director of equity release specialist Responsible Equity Release.

“We are seeing a real desire from older homeowners to help the whole family out. Early inheritance is a strong driver at the moment for taking out equity release plans.”

Lifetime mortgages, which account for the bulk of the equity release sector, have recently come under European scrutiny. Although they will remain exempt from the Mortgage Credit Directive, the Financial Conduct Authority will have to broaden their definition  to comply with the legislation.

Mortgage Solutions will hold the 10th annual Equity Release Awards at the Merchant Taylor’s Hall in London on 25 November, for the full details CLICK HERE.

To see a list of the shortlisted nominees for this year’s awards CLICK HERE.





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