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Equity release sector hit record £1.71bn in 2015

  • 13/01/2016
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Equity release sector hit record £1.71bn in 2015
The equity release market has grown by 24%, with the total value of property wealth reaching a record £1.71bn last year, research shows.

The total value in 2014 was £1.38bn.

Pensioners released £4.7m in property wealth a day last year, with the average homeowner receiving £72,000 each, an increase of 11% compared to the year before, figures by over 55s provider Key Retirement shows.

In London, the average retiree released around £128,000.

Sales of equity release plans rose by 11%, climbing to 23,747 sold in 2015.

This was largely due to the launch of pension freedom allowing for more retirement income choices, the equity release adviser said.

The average property value of homeowners using equity release rose around 6% from £259,882 to £274,770 year-on-year.

Dean Mirfin, technical director at Key Retirement, said: “Property wealth is making a massive contribution to retirement income and planning with pensioners releasing a record £4.7m a day from their homes.

“Sales of equity release plans are rising strongly as well, underlining how pension freedoms have widened the choice of retirement income solutions with people now considering their home as part of their retirement portfolio,” he said.

Andrea Rozario, chief corporate officer at Bower Retirement Services, said: “The all-time high of £1.7bn for the equity release market highlights how property wealth is now established as a major contribution to retirement planning for savers.

“Our advisers tell us there is a real need for further innovation across the market to ensure that more retired homeowners can make better use of their property wealth and interest-only solutions need to be part of that,” she said.

The value of property wealth released rose in 11 out of 12 regions and the number of plans sold rose in nine regions.

The South East saw the largest increase in both aspects (42% and 26% respectively), while Northern Ireland recorded a 6% decrease in amount released and a 22% decrease in plan numbers.

Around 67% of all sales were drawdown plans, including enhanced drawdown. These plans create a cash reserve from which a retiree may withdraw however much is needed at any given time. They only pay interest on the amount of money they take out.

Lifetime mortgages, including enhanced products, represented some 33%.

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