Equity release market in UK continues with strong start to 2018

The equity release market in the UK has maintained its strong start to 2018 with individual home owners releasing an average of almost £83,000 from their properties, according to the latest figures to be published.

The average equity release plan handled by Responsible Equity Release last month was £82,666, slightly down from £87,035 in January but the total number taking out equity release plans since the start of the year is up 93% compared to the first two months of last year.

The figures from the equity release provider also show that the total amount of equity released by home owners so far in 2018 is 132% more than the total amount released during the same period in 2017.

The firm believes that the equity release market is set for another strong year as it becomes more established as a mainstream financial product as more people are seeing the potential of equity release and the range of products that are now available.

A breakdown of the figures show that regionally, the total amount of equity released by home owners in Scotland and the North East was up 89% and 25% respectively in February 2018 compared to January 2018. While, home owners in the North West took 35% more equity from their homes last month at £50,955 than in January at £37,781.

February also saw London home owners reduce the amount of equity they are taking out of their properties. Equity release plans last month were on average £191,912, down from £203,296 in January.

‘The equity release market has had a strong but steady start to 2018, and the range of people with specific requirements that equity release can now benefit has seen the product move from niche to mainstream,’ said Steve Wilkie, managing director of Responsible Equity Release.

‘We’re still seeing plenty of enquiries from people who took out interest only mortgages on their homes which are coming to an end and are struggling to remortgage. But we talk to just as many retirees who are keen to have an equity release drawdown facility, so that they don’t have to take money out of their pensions while stock market volatility is so high. The home has become a viable income source, filling the retirement income gap left by poor performing savings accounts,’ he added.

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