The poll of 587 advisers conducted by More 2 Life found 54 per cent of respondents felt product development in the next 12 months would help their business.
When asked what kind of changes to products they would like to see, 35 per cent said a mortgage which transitioned into an equity release product at the client’s request would be successful.
A fifth said later life products which allow small, regular drawdowns to pay for everyday costs were what customers wanted.
A further 20 per cent felt a more holistic approach to advice that covered pensions and property was what clients wanted to see going forward.
Aside from product innovation, advisers felt increased awareness of equity release would help their business over the next year, with 57 per cent saying so.
Some 22 per cent said greater support from equity release providers would be beneficial.
When asked of the greatest challenges faced over the next 12 months, 47 per cent said a lack of consumer awareness was the main obstacle.
Lender criteria was also seen as a challenge, according to 35 per cent of advisers. Meanwhile 32 per cent of respondents said underwriting approaches of lenders could hinder business.
Confidence in the market
Overall, 94 per cent of advisers said they were positive about the outlook of the equity release market over the next year.
On a micro level, 91 per cent said they were either fairly or very confident about the prospects of their own company.
Optimism was most prevalent among sole traders and mortgage firms with fewer than 30 advisers. Some 95 per cent of respondents from each company structure were respectively cited as being the most confident about the future of their business.
Dave Harris, chief executive at More 2 Life, said: “While the pandemic has thrown unprecedented challenges at the industry, it is good to see that advisers are optimistic about the future of the equity release market as well as their own businesses.
“They are also keen that, as providers, we focus on product innovation with over half suggesting that this is what will most benefit their businesses and their customers over the next 12 months.”
“There is much to be positive about in this market over the next 12 months as it looks to return to strong growth,” he added.