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Equity Release Council chair ‘cautiously optimistic about future’

  • 23/05/2024
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Equity Release Council chair ‘cautiously optimistic about future’
Cautious optimism was in the air at the Equity Release Council’s (ERC's) summit following positive economic events during the first three months of the year.

David Burrowes (pictured), chair of the council, said the Q1 reduction in equity release rates, strong economic growth relative to previous quarters, higher loan to values (LTVs) and a drop in the rate of inflation were all good news for the sector.

“The Bank of England rate should eventually follow, so that much-needed confidence returns,” he said. “So I do think we can be cautiously optimistic about the future.”

Despite his positivity, Burrowes set the scene for a challenging year and described market conditions as “tough”.

In 2022, the sector advanced £6.2bn of lending, which fell to £ in 2023.

However, Burrowes said challenges could be turned into opportunities for the later life lending market.

“This [summit] is the big one, the one that sets out our stall, the one that sets a clear vision for our future, and a clear vision we must have,” he said.

“And why is that? Because now and in the very near future, our industry is going to be faced with a set of challenges, the like[s] of which we’ve not seen for many years. Our job at the council is to work with you and others to ensure that those challenges become opportunities.

“Opportunities to provide current and potential customers with products and services [that] will transform their lives for the better; opportunities to grow our market and to transform later life finances not only for this generation of older people but for many generations to come, and opportunities to work with a government of any colour, and our friends the regulators to put a legislative framework in place [that] helps us to deliver this.”

He added: “I don’t want to overplay the signs of recovery, but a recovery will come.”

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