Equity release growth slows

Ryan Bembridge

July 19, 2019

The value of equity release sales increased by just 3% to £1.68bn in the first half of 2019, reflecting how growth has slowed compared to previous years.

This is far slower growth than an increase of 31% between H1 2017 and H1 2018 and 31% the year before that.

Will Hale, chief executive at Key, said: “Against the backdrop of economic uncertainty, the equity release market has seen a subdued first half with slower growth than in recent years.

“While the key market drivers of low pension saving and substantial property wealth remain, the over-55s are taking a cautious approach to accessing the value tied up in bricks and mortar at the moment but as confidence returns we do expect the market to pick up.”

He added: “That said, the market is benefiting from the arrival of new sources of funding which is helping to keep rates at historic lows and to drive the launch of various new products. Consequently, we have seen an increase in the number of customers remortgaging to benefit from lower rates or the opportunity to release additional equity due to house price rises or the higher LTVs that are now available.

“The myriad of different reasons that customers use equity release for highlights how vital specialist independent expert advice is to ensure that older homeowners are helped to make the right choices for their individual circumstances.”

The number of equity release plans rose by 5.6% year-on-year in the first half of the 2019.

Average loans taken by customers slipped in value by nearly £2,000 to £76,064 this year so far.

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