Bower Retirement: ER could double

In Q4 2014 almost three quarters (70%) of advisers expect the market to grow in the next six months, up from 60% in Q3.

Advisers anticipate two entrants entering the equity release market in the New Year on average.

Geoff Charles, chief executive of Bower Retirement Services, said: “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.

“Attitudes to inheritance have evolved to the point where older homeowners no longer feel compelled to leave every single penny to their children.

“They are now much happier to utilise their housing wealth with a view that leaving an inheritance would be nice but not essential.”

More than two-fifths (42%) of older homeowners who enquire about equity release have an outstanding mortgage, up from 36% in Q3.

The majority are choosing to involve their families in the decision-making process, with 73% seeking their advice.

Charles added: “This isn’t to say that equity release will be suitable in all circumstances and our latest figures show that our advisers recommended that an average of two clients each in the last quarter pursue other options.

“Many of these either had existing savings or no pressing need to release funds. This highlights the importance of ensuring that advisers continue to act in their clients’ best interests as the sector grows.

“We pride ourselves on being an honest and transparent organisation and our advisers share the same commitment and integrity.”