Older homeowners unlocked a record £3.94bn of property wealth using equity release during 2018 – just failing to break through the £4bn barrier for the first time. The total was 29% up on the £3.06bn in 2017 and the seventh consecutive year of growth in the market as recorded by the Equity Release Council (ERC).
Meanwhile the £1.08bn of lending completed in the final three months was up 26% from the £838m in the same period last year. This continued the market’s growth from the £1.02bn lent in Q3 2018 which was the first time the market broke £1bn for a quarter. Older homeowners are realising in growing numbers that property wealth can play a crucial role in supporting their retirement alongside pensions, savings and other assets.
Industry, regulators and government must continue to explore how we can help generations of retirees, both today and in the future, to adopt a more rounded approach to later life planning.
With a growing choice of products and features on offer, the market is maturing and adapting to offer a new level of flexibility to suit a range of financial needs and ambitions – from funding care costs to helping children to buy their first home.