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Equity release choice remains stable as flexible features rise – Air

  • 16/11/2022
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Equity release choice remains stable as flexible features rise – Air
The number of equity release plans on the market was pegged at 317 in October, marginally higher than the 314 products available in 2019 before the pandemic.

While product numbers dipped from 582 in Q3 this year following the mini Budget and are down from 397 in 2020, there is more flexibility for borrowers. 

Some 193 equity release plans offer downsize protection, a rise from 187 at the end of Q3 in 2020. Some 92 plans have inheritance protection, which is slightly lower than 99 in 2020. 

A further 190 plans allow interest payments, up from 171 in 2020 and 371 enable ad hoc payments, a rise from 234 in 2020. 

Some 200 plans have fixed early repayment charges, an increase from 164 in 2020. 

Stuart Wilson, CEO of Air, said: “While there is no doubt that the mini Budget saw lenders in the equity release market, as with other residential markets, pause for breath, the number of plans is higher than pre-pandemic and customers have access to a wider range of features than ever before. 

“In the current uncertain environment, being able to find a customer the right fit for their individual circumstances is even more vital as, while people still need to use their housing equity, they are being naturally cautious around making decisions.” 

He added: “Being able to explain that there is downsizing protection and the ability to guarantee an inheritance, in addition to a fixed rate for life and safeguards like the no-negative equity guarantee, should provide both customers and advisers with confidence. 

“Advisers need to focus on getting the basics right as there is no question that with rising residential mortgage rates, pensions being squeezed and families looking for support that over-55s need to consider all their options and make choices that work for them now and in the future.” 

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