Equity release sector could double in value

The vast majority of our equity release advisers expect the equity release market to grow, many believe the market could double in value.

2014 was a record setting year for the equity release market and lending levels are approaching the highs achieved before the financial crisis.

Total annual lending exceeded £1.2bn and this has been down to a growing confidence amongst the over 55s that equity release is a retirement option that should be considered. Equity release is driving itself into the mainstream and the millions released in 2014 have helped thousands ease the financial strain they feel in later life.

2015 will, according to our Adviser Tracker research, be an even more successful year and the records set in 2014 may quickly be surpassed. The majority of our advisers (70%) believe the equity release market will grow within the next six months and a yearly total of £2.4bn, double the 2014 figure, could easily be possible in the near future.

Debt consolidation (44%) remained the most popular reason that our customers decided to release equity, however, an increasing number of customers take out equity release to make longed for home improvements (17%). Despite these gains, our advisers always discuss and explore the alternatives to equity release and sometimes advise customers that equity release is not the best option at that time.

Equity release is helping the over 55s relieve the stress and discomfort of carrying debt into retirement and is also assisting many in improving their home further, something that can help increase the value of the property as well as the standard of living of our customers.

There are alternatives to equity release and these should be carefully considered with an independent equity release adviser to help make an informed decision. Bower offer experienced, independent specialist equity release advisers who can help you understand the advantages and disadvantages of equity release.

Geoff Charles, CEO of Bower, commented:

“Far from being complacent after such an encouraging year, the majority of advisers expect further growth, both in the coming months and longer term. With awareness of the benefits of equity release growing and inadequate pension savings and increasing costs of living continuing to bite, it is no surprise that the market looks set to continue its upward trajectory.”