Equity release soars as older homeowners unlock the cash in their homes
The equity release sector is booming according to its trade body, as more older borrowers take advantage of their property wealth to fund retirement or help children onto the ladder.
The Equity Release Council said there was a 23% year-on-year increase in the number of equity release customers in the second half of 2018.
All regions saw double-digit growth in the uptake of lifetime mortgages, with the East and West Midlands seeing especially strong increases over the period.
The growth of lending is being driven by more customers taking out plans, rather than increasing loan sizes, with drawdown lifetime mortgages the most popular type of equity release product among borrowers.
Growing market share
Lifetime mortgages now account for around a third of all new mortgages taken by customers in their mid-fifties and beyond as they continue to increase market share.
Chairman of the Equity Release Council, David Burrowes, said: “2018 saw the equity release market cement its position in the mainstream of financial services. It was also the year of product innovation as more consumers took advantage of flexible ways to access their property wealth in later life.”
Stuart Wilson, marketing director at more 2 life, added: “It is clear that the appetite for equity release among older homeowners is growing as they look to unlock the wealth tied up in their homes to meet a variety of needs including home renovations and debt repayment. And, with an ageing population and a need for retirees to fund a long and happy retirement, the demand for equity release is only going to increase further.”