Record new business for SHIP members
The value of business written in the Quarter was £350.2 million, 3% higher than in Quarter 3 2004, which saw the previous new business record of £338.4 million. Quarter 4’s new business written was also 25% higher than Quarter 4 2003.
Total new business written by SHIP members in 2004 was £1192.3 million, 2.7% higher than in 2003. On an annualised basis, new equity release business written by SHIP members is now equivalent to £1.4 billion, its highest level ever.
Of new business written in Q4, 96.5% was Lifetime Mortgages, which have been regulated by the FSA alongside all mortgages since 31 October 2004. Home Reversions accounted for the remaining 3.5% of new business. These proportions were reflected in the pattern of business seen for the year overall. Two thirds of new business (65%) was written via Intermediaries.
Jon King, chairman of SHIP said: “These results confirm emphatically that equity release is now a key financial product. Underlining this is the fact that SHIP members have written the greatest volume of business ever this quarter, despite the fourth quarter traditionally being the quietest time of the year, and some business disruption due to the introduction of mortgage regulation.
“In 2005 we expect continued growth. Consumer confidence will increase further now that mortgage regulation, together with the SHIP Code of Practice for Home Reversions are in place. In addition, the factors stimulating equity release growth will remain – both the significant value of equity locked in property owned by the over 60s, together with a desire to supplement retirement income.”