Equity release levels hit record high

Posted on Wednesday, December 20, 2017

The latest figures from equity release provider, Responsible Equity Release, has revealed that an end of year surge is responsible for record levels of homeowners taking out an equity release plan for the second consecutive month.

The average amount of equity released by individual homeowners in November also hit an all-time high of £85,946, up from £70,851 in October.

Innovation in the equity release market is unlocking the potential of the product to a new market. Thousands of retirees are using their homes to provide a much-needed income boost while their savings languish in rock bottom interest rate accounts.

The number of homeowners taking out equity release plans in November surpassed the record levels seen in October, up 1.2%. Over the past quarter (September to November 2017), the number of equity release plans taken out was 20.9% higher than the previous three months (June to August 2017). 

The total amount of equity released in November was up 20.9% on October. And total equity released over the past quarter (September to November 2017), was up more than a quarter (25.3%) on the previous quarter (June to August 2017). 

Regionally, the average amount of equity released last month by homeowners in the South East, where house prices have boomed over the past decade, was £129,004. While, the total amount of equity released by homeowners in the East Midlands and West Midlands was up 54.2%and 34.7% in November vs October.

In London, despite concerns over falling house prices, homeowners released more than £170,000 on average in November, with the total amount of equity released 41.8% up on October.

Steve Wilkie, managing director, Responsible Equity Release, comments: “There was nothing for pensioners in the Autumn Budget as the Chancellor focused his attention on winning over the younger voters. There was talk of a stamp duty freeze further up the property chain to help and encourage pensioners to downsize. Instead, Philip Hammond chose to cut stamp duty for first-time buyers rather than help the older generation.

Retirees aren’t so much the older generation as the forgotten generation. They’ve been left to fend for themselves when it comes to their finances, having to swallow a decade of stagnant savings growth. With rising living costs, many are left with very little income to enjoy their latter years.

This is why thousands of retirees are using their homes to provide a much-needed income boost. The house has become an asset that can work during their lifetime, rather than being simply being passed down to future generations. And the equity release industry has listened and evolved to provide a retirement solution that fits.”

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