Q2 2015: Equity Release at an All-Time High

5th August 2015

£384.3m lending is largest since records began in 2002, despite perceived “competition” from new pensions freedoms

I was pleased and delighted to see some recent statistics from the Equity Release Council, and I think that you will be interested in them too. They show that equity release lending to UK homeowners over the age of 55 totalled £384.3m in the second quarter of 2015, which is in fact the largest amount for any quarter since records began, surpassing the previous high of £375.4m reached in the third quarter of 2014.

This means that the value of housing wealth released in the second quarter of 2015 was up 18% both on the previous quarter and on last year’s second quarter total of £325.6m. This record lending means that the total value of equity released in the first six months of 2015 hit £710million, the largest sum on record for the first half of the year and an 11% increase on the first half of 2014.

All of these records are all very well – though very comforting for someone like me! – but I am particularly pleased about them, because it could all have been so very different. You will know that, on 6th April this year, the greater pension freedoms were introduced, allowing people like us in their later life, to take a lump sum from their pension pot. Many predicted that this would see equity release volume drop, as people chose to take money from that source rather than from their property.

The reverse seems to have happened instead. Perhaps I was not as surprised as most, since many of my clients have been telling me for some time that they did not want to dilute their pension pots too early in their retirement, but that they preferred to unlock the cash they needed from their properties through equity release.

If you have any questions about the subject matter of this blog, or would like more information on any equity release related point, please do not hesitate to contact me in any of ways highlighted on this website.

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