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Equity release completions drop as rates fall to record lows

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  • 21/09/2020
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Equity release completions drop as rates fall to record lows
The number of new equity release plans agreed suffered a 15 per cent annual drop in the first half of 2020, following the impact of Covid-19 on the industry, according to the Equity Release Council (ERC).

 

However, equity release average rates managed to hit record lows this summer, with more than half of deals offering a rate of four per cent or lower.

The typical lifetime mortgage rate stood at 4.11 per cent in July, the ERC said in its autumn market report.

Around a fifth of products offer a rate below three per cent.

Choice for consumers grew by nearly a third between July 2019 and this year, despite a five per cent fall in numbers between January and July 2020.

David Burrowes, chairman of the Equity Release Council (pictured), said: “The unprecedented uncertainty of the first six months of 2020 has affected households and businesses alike, with the equity release market no exception.

“While pent-up demand in Q1 led to a strong first quarter, the impact of Covid-19 and the lockdown dominated Q2 before showing initial signs of recovery in June.

“Despite this uncertainty, the market has shown resilience and consumers considering equity release continue to find a wide range of product options on the market, while the average rate has fallen considerably over the last eighteen months.

“As the UK’s ageing population seeks to fund increasingly longer retirements, property wealth can play a fundamental role for many people, both now and in the future, as part of a more joined-up approach to planning for retirement. The challenges that lie ahead show no signs of easing, so it is important that people are aware of all the options available to them to help fund later life.”

 

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