Equity Release Council announces record-breaking year

17th March 2017

2016 was a record-breaking year for equity releases, the Equity Release Council has announced. The second half of the year saw £1.24bn worth of equity unlocked, up 37% on the first half of the year, and significantly higher than the £898m totalled in the second half of 2015.

It all adds up to annual equity release activity topping the £2bn mark for the first time.

To put that into context, the first time annual lending was calculated was in 1992, with just £29m being unlocked. In our post-recession world, the market has trebled from £788m in 2011 to £2.15bn today. And the pre-financial crisis peak was £1.21bn in 2007.

The increase in equity release business in 2016 saw lifetime mortgages (the most common type of equity release product) record the largest percentage growth rate in customer numbers with 22%, compared with 16% growth for buy-to-let remortgaging, the second fastest expanding area, which was the fastest grower in the years 2013-2015.

With a boom like this in the equity release market - with older consumers increasingly more aware of equity release, and wanting to take a more holistic view of their financial assets and future quality of life - it is no surprise that the industry predicts further expansion in the sector in the coming years.

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