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Equity release lending rose in first quarter of 2020

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The later life lending market was experiencing a boost in business before the lockdown
Equity release lending rose in first quarter of 2020

Property wealth totalling £1.06bn was accessed through equity release products in the first quarter of 2020, according to the Equity Release Council.

The trade body noted this was up by 14% from £936m a year earlier.

The rise in lending to older borrowers was driven by the return of consumer confidence in the early months of 2020 following an uncertain 2019 – the so-called ‘Boris bounce’ following the decisive General Election result.

Of course, by the end of the first quarter the UK was in lockdown measures and the sector is now facing huge challenges, like the rest of the mortgage market.

Will Hale, CEO at equity release advisor Key, said: “Good specialist advice is crucial and that may mean recommending customers do not proceed at this time.

“We believe that helping customers to make choices that will stand them in good stead for the long term – especially when there is so much uncertainty at the moment – is the only correct approach.”

Why do borrowers release equity?

Property wealth was released in the first three months of this year for a wide range of purposes, including providing homeowners with additional retirement income, funding one-off expenses and lifestyle purchases, meeting homecare costs and gifting a ‘living inheritance’ to family or friends.

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