Bridgewater says Equity Release market is strong.

In response to the recent increase in business volumes announced by Safe Home Income Plans (SHIP) for Quarter 2 2008, Bridgewater says it is already seeing strong levels of business in Quarter 3.

Recent figures from SHIP showed that business volumes produced by SHIP members had increased by 14% over Quarter 1. £275.7 million of equity was released by SHIP members with home reversions now accounting for 5% of all loans.

Alison Beeston, Compliance & Communications Manager at Bridgewater Equity Release, said: “The SHIP figures suggested that the equity release sector is bucking the trend of the overall mortgage market which is still in the grip of the Credit Crunch and the wider liquidity shortage. As a SHIP member it is pleasing to see the growing volumes of equity release business and, if Bridgewater’s own volumes in Quarter 3 are anything to go by, this upward trend and continued strength should show up in the next set of quarterly data.

“The positive figures emanating from the equity release sector at present show the increased demand for the products as more consumers opt to actively use their biggest asset and access its value. As society changes and the public look at their retirement options, equity release is becoming a more mainstream solution especially at a time when pension fund levels are falling. With house prices also continuing to fall, the benefits of home reversion plans become even greater and we are working with advisers to help them understand the product and its suitability for their clients.

“Bridgewater’s products are only available through intermediaries, therefore it is welcome news to see the broker channel continuing to dominate equity release distribution. We continue to develop a range of sales and information aids for intermediaries and look forward to meeting a wide section of the broker community at the forthcoming AMI road shows.”