Commenting on the latest equity release figures from the Equity Release Council, Chris Prior, Manager, Sales & Distribution at Bridgewater Equity Release, said:
“These latest annual lending figures from the Equity Release Council show clearly how the sector progressed throughout 2014 with the largest amount of lending since such figures were recorded. This clearly shows the ongoing and growing demand for equity release products in order to satisfy a variety of wants and needs including paying off debt such as interest-only mortgages, home improvements or bolstering retirement income.
“The outlook for the market is extremely positive and we would not be surprised to see 2015 figures touching, or perhaps even surpassing, the £2bn mark. After many years of threatening to break into the mainstream it now appears that equity release is becoming a much more sought after solution. With the retirement income changes being introduced in April this year we would expect equity release product take-up to increase as retirees look to take advantage of the greater flexibility and also seek to extract the value in, what is likely to be, their greatest asset.
“It’s a simple fact that the vast majority of newly-retired individuals will not have sufficient pension pots. Equity release can offer an answer to certain individuals however it is vitally important that retirees make use of the Government’s Guidance service but also see a specialist adviser who has knowledge and expertise on equity release, or at the very least, has a relationship with someone who does. Equity release will not be right for everyone but the individual will only know this if they take the appropriate financial advice.”
(Source – Bridgewater Equity Release Comment)