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Equity release boom continues as RER sees strong growth

  • 17/11/2017
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Equity release boom continues as RER sees strong growth
The number of homeowners releasing equity continued to soar in October making a 76.5% year-on-year jump, according to the latest figures from Responsible Equity Release (RER),

Completed equity release plans in October were up 19.2% on September to hit a record for the firm.

The total amount of equity released in October was up 3.8% on September, and up 111.9% against October 2016. The period between August and October also saw a 32% increase on the total equity released compared to the May to July period.

However, the average amount of equity released by homeowners dropped from £84,057 in September to just under £71,000 in October.

Over the August to October period 2017, the number of equity release plans taken out was 24% higher than the previous quarter.

Steve Wilkie, managing director at Responsible Equity Release, commented: “[UK pensioners] have endured a decade of dire savings growth, and with inflation likely to rise beyond 3%, many are struggling to cope with escalating living costs.”

The Responsible Equity Release announcement comes as research from Key Retirement revealed how half of equity release customers still owe money on their mortgages, and almost one in four use home equity to repay credit card debts.

And Nationwide unveiled its entrance into the later-life lending market.

“If investments and savings aren’t providing income, what are their options? For many, it’s their home; the only asset they have which they can generate an income stream from, and it’s no surprise to see the popularity of equity release grow as a result,” Wilkie continued.


Regional differences

In October, homeowners in the North East released more than seven times the level of equity compared to the previous month. While East Midland homeowners took out twice as many equity release plans in October than they did in September.

In comparison, London and Northern Ireland were the only areas to see a fall in equity release figures, with Responsible Equity Release suggesting that this could be “due to concerns over house prices, as it’s been heavily publicised that the London housing market is cooling”.

“The equity release industry has proven itself to be well placed to provide a genuine retirement income solution. The industry is listening to what consumers want and adapting its product range accordingly,” said Wilkie.

“When millions of people have paid into their homes, why shouldn’t they be able to make their homes work for them during their lifetime?” he added.

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