Equity release choice nearly triples in one year

Later life lending market continues to expand

Equity release choice nearly triples in one year

The number of equity release products has nearly tripled in the past year, hitting a new record high of 1,557 at the end of the first quarter of the year, new data from Key Partnerships has shown.

The referral arm of equity release adviser Key Later Life Finance noted that the later life lending market continues to expand and offer increased flexibility to customers, stressing that only 547 equity release products were on offer at the end of the first quarter last year.

With the introduction of the Equity Release Council’s 5th product standard in late March, all new customers can now benefit from the ability to make ad-hoc penalty free repayments.

Compared to the same time last year, just 330 plans – 60% of those available – offered one-off fee-free repayments.

Fixed early repayment charges on equity release plans have also become more of a feature across the market – around 63%, or 979 plans, offer fixed early repayment charges making it easier and more affordable for customers to switch loans.

Jason Ruse, business development director at Key Group, commented that the expansion of the number of plans available on the market has been remarkable with the last year seeing the number nearly treble.

“Developments in the market and the innovation in product design reflect the growth in lending and the demand from customers for more flexibility underlining how equity release has become a true later life lending market,” Ruse said.

“The rapid widening of choice emphasises the importance of expert independent advice for customers and the need for advisers to stay up to date with what is a growing and fast-changing market. Advisers who do not regularly work in the market should consider whether setting up a referral relationship might not be a better idea.”