Equity release lending dipped 3% in 2019
The number of new lifetime mortgages agreed in 2019 was 3% lower than in 2018, according to the Equity Release Council.
The trade body for equity release providers said consumer appetite for lifetime mortgages remained robust in an uncertain climate last year.
A total of £3.92bn of property wealth was withdrawn in 2019 as a whole.
David Burrowes, chairman of the Equity Release Council said: “While uncertainty becomes the norm, property wealth will inevitably continue to play a role over the months and years to come, to help meet the wide-ranging needs of the UK’s ageing population.
“The increasing diversity of firms in the market reflects the wide range of consumer needs which property wealth is helping to address. It is also a sign of the greater frequency with which the option of releasing equity is coming up in retirement planning conversations.”
The Equity Release Council added that in January 2020 average equity release rates dropped to a record low of 4.48%, and two out of five products now have a rate under 4%.
Mark Gregory, founder and CEO of Equity Release Supermarket, said: “The gap between lifetime mortgage interest rates and residential mortgage SVRs continues to narrow and lifetime mortgage lenders are expanding the range of flexible features available.
“For example, plans offering fixed term, early repayment charges (ERCs) has increased by 36% year on year and the number of plans offering regular interest repayments has jumped by 80%. Additionally, 127 plans have the facility to make partial repayments.”