Equity Release Council: Total equity released in third quarter hits five-year high of £284.1m

Equity release plans see highest quarterly jump since 2004

Almost 14,000 release equity from their home in 2013 to date

Drawdown mortgages reach 2008 levels

16 October 2013:  The total value of equity release plans agreed in the third quarter of 2013 reached £284.1m. Up 14% year-on-year and up 15% on the previous quarter, this represents the greatest quarterly jump seen since 2004 (Q2-Q3 – 30.15% increase) and the biggest single quarter since Q3 2008, according to the latest figures from The Equity Release Council.

The average amount released has also broken records, with each customer now releasing £57,107. This amount is the largest since quarterly records began in 2002, potentially sparked by the ever increasing cost of living, coupled with the dwindling saving pots of the over-55s.

Equity release customers flood to market

The number of equity release customers has increased, as almost 14,000 over-55s have released equity from their homes in 2013 to date, and nearly 5,000 new customers have come to the market in the last three months alone.

The 4,975 new customers in the third quarter of 2013 is the most seen in a single quarter in four years (Q2 2009 – 5,198). This is up 7% on the second quarter and represents a 4% year-on-year change.

Lump sum versus drawdown

The total value of both lump sum and drawdown mortgages has also increased in the last quarter and year, with drawdown mortgage values reaching £187.9m – the highest since 2008 (Q3 – £218.8m) – and lump sum mortgage reaching £95.7m  – the highest since 2009 (Q4 – 101.9m).

Drawdown mortgages remain the more popular choice with consumers, representing 66% of the market value – a slight increase on the last quarter (64%). The percentage of market share for lump sum mortgages has slightly decreased by one percentage point from Q2 to 34%.

IFA advice still tops charts

The latest figures also reveal that 97% of equity release plans are sold through independent financial advisers. Creeping up every quarter since records began (as low as 64% in Q3 2003) it is clear that equity release customers are increasingly looking to independent advisers to get the best and most suitable plan for their individual needs.

Nigel Waterson, Chairman of the Equity Release Council said:

“As our figures continue to leap up quarter-on-quarter, year-on-year – the equity release market is very much alive. It is encouraging to see significant increases in not only the number of over-55s making the most of their property wealth, but also the amount that each individual is able to release. The growing interest in the market is a sign that equity release has an increasingly important place to play in financial planning for later life, giving advisers a key option to assist their clients among the range of retirement products.

“With house prices rising month-on-month, but saving pots dwindling and the cost of living soaring, equity release can offer homeowners a way to take the stress out of retirement, whether it be to help with those outstanding debts or to just ensure you can enjoy your later years.”

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