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Sharp jump in the number of equity release plans available

Written by: John Fitzsimons
Later life lending has become more flexible and accessible, with greater choice benefitting borrowers
Sharp jump in the number of equity release plans available

There has been a 310 per cent increase in the number of equity release plans available on the market, according to data from Key Partnerships.

There are now 233 plan options on offer from lenders, up from 144 in the third quarter of last year and 73 back in 2016.

Key noted that the dramatic increase in deals for advisers to choose from has included lenders introducing different LTVs and developing fee-free products.

The firm also noted a host of “major innovations” in the design of equity release deals, such as downsizing protection, which is now offered by 41 per cent of plans, as well as allowing interest payments, which is on offer from 36 per cent of deals.

Meanwhile a quarter (24 per cent) of plans will lend on sheltered or age-restricted properties.
Jason Ruse, head of Key Partnerships, noted that demand from borrowers was transforming the equity release market, with lenders having to respond to their needs by launching a range of deals with innovative features.

He continued: “Although some of the new plans have incorporated small but significant tweaks to an existing plan, it does mean there are now 233 variations available on the market. It also means that there are major innovations and new options for customers and their advisers to be aware of.”

Aviva enhances range

The research comes as Aviva has announced enhancements to its own equity release range, which include downsizing protection – which means borrowers can redeem the loan in full without having to pay ERCs should they need to move to a new property that does not meet Aviva’s lending criteria.

In addition, Aviva has extended its criteria so that it will now consider lending to borrowers who wish to let a self-contained part of the property, or use the property for a limited amount of commercial use, as well as introducing a new specialist team to consider loans of up to £10m.

Alongside these changes Aviva said it is simplifying its application process, to make it easier for brokers to complete and submit business requests, as well as the introduction of a single set of product terms and conditions.

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