Equity release options grow to ‘unprecedented’ levels

The equity release market reached a major milestone today as analysis revealed the number of later life options available had topped 500.

According to Moneyfacts.co.uk, it was the first time on record the number of deals had reached this ‘unprecedented level’.
A flurry of competition in the market over the past few weeks is the main driver of these figures, researchers at the data analysts said.

Moneyfacts said the market consisted of just eight lenders – Aviva, Canada Life, Just, Legal & General Home Finance, LV=, More 2 Life Ltd, OneFamily and Pure Retirement.

But when it came to the number of options on the table from these lenders, Just and Pure Retirement each had over 130 deals in their ranges available.

What’s more the analysis also revealed the maximum loan-to-value (LTV) available across the market. Moneyfacts said it was currently 49%, compared to 48% a year ago, and 49% five years ago.

Rachel Springall, a finance expert at Moneyfacts.co.uk, said lenders were working hard to cater to borrower demand.

As well as making a number of launches, she said lenders were also repricing their deals. The average rate was now 4.07%.

Although this a slight increase from the record low seen in March 2021 of 3.86%, Springall said Moneyfacts was predominantly seeing lenders reduce rates this month.

The data also showed, over the past two years, the average equity release rate had dropped by 1.02% and there were 323 more options on the market to assess.

Springall added: “Overall the market remains resilient despite the Coronavirus pandemic.” She quoted recent figures from the Equity Release Council which revealed the volume of lifetime mortgages taken out during H2 had risen by 19% compared to the first six months of the year.

The report also revealed that over-55s withdrew 46p of property wealth for every £1 of flexible pension payments in H2 2020, in line with 2019.

“This demonstrates how the wealth in property can play a part in retirement planning, but opting for equity release should not be a decision taken lightly, such as the impact it has on passing inheritance to family members,” she added.

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