Ok so we might not be quite up there with Game of Thrones, the royal baby and oat milk (the next big thing to add to your coffee in 2019) in trending terms but the Equity Release Market has moved up the popularity rankings to it’s highest ever position.
Now, while this may not see you leaping up in your chair and cracking open the bubbly it does mean that if you’re considering Equity Release it’s never been easier to find a product to suit you, to access a host of information and find trustworthy advice from professionals you can trust.
Recording the market’s “busiest start to any year” and with activity reported as “the highest seen to date since records began in 1991” the Equity Release Council’s quarterly report highlights both the growing popularity of Equity Release and the diverse drivers behind accessing property wealth later in life.
So, with the number of customers rising by 10% year on year, what are the reasons behind such growth?
Of course there are the increasingly demanding, socio-economic challenges that retirement funds, property prices and living costs place on us, but that doesn’t really tell us why more and more people are choosing Equity Release as the answer and why Equity Release is becoming so much more of a go-to solution than ever before?
When we talk to our customers, the most important element for them is trust; trust in us as a business and trust in Equity Release as a product. And, it does seem that word has finally spread that the Equity Release of years gone by, with all its negative associations, is no longer. Most people we speak with have a much more positive impression of Equity Release and are therefore far more open to exploring the benefits and options open to them.
David Burrowes, Chairman of the Equity Release Council talks about the increased range of products and the safeguards in place to protect customers today, saying
“Customers now have access to hundreds of product options combining various features to suit different individual circumstances – all underpinned by product safeguards, such as the guaranteed right to remain in their homes with no risk of repossession for missing repayments.”
Additionally it appears that the stigma, once associated with admitting that you had accessed Equity Release, also seems to be lifting. As it becomes more mainstream it’s just simply another way to free up cash that people feel happier to talk about. It’s almost as if that stigma has been replaced with, quite rightly, a sense of entitlement to the best retirement possible.
“ We used to worry what people would think about the fact that we had used Equity Release but now so many of our friends have joined the gang it’s no big deal. It seems like it’s the thing to do and we’ve realised that all our friends and family want to find out is how they can jet off on holiday as often as we do too.”
So with trust more solid and the stigma lifted, what are the main uses for Equity Release, according to this recent report?
As you’d expect, what people choose to do with their money is very much age dependent. If you’re between the ages of 55-64 you’re most likely to access your property wealth as a route to paying off your existing mortgage or other unsecured debts. However if you fall in to the 65-74 age bracket (the average age range for taking out Equity Release) you’re more inclined towards supplementing your retirement income, helping family to get on the property ladder and financing home improvements.. Over 75 and the funds are regularly released to pay for care needs such as adaptations to the home and visiting carers.
As David Burrowes, goes on to say
“Demand for equity release is not only growing but broadening, with property wealth being used to meet a growing range of needs in later life. Today’s competitive market is helping thousands of homeowners to make flexible use of their property assets to tackle a host of financial challenges, not just on their own behalf but also on behalf of family members.”
Of course the funds are yours to do entirely as you wish, so if you’d like to add exotic travel, far flung adventures and fine dining to the list please be our guest. The list really is endless and the choice is yours!
However you wish to use your funds, it’s one thing to know that the products are safeguarded but you also need to know that you are receiving the very best advice from advisers you can trust. It’s crucial that you feel confident and comfortable with your Adviser and that you receive expert independent advice that is tailored to your needs. Before agreeing anything you must have the complete peace of mind that you are fully protected, you must never feel forced, pressured or obligated to make a decision at any stage and you should never be asked to pay any up-front fees.
Here at The Right Equity Release we’re like one big family; our head office team, our advisers and our customers. So, if you’d like more of an insight into how Equity Release could be of benefit to you, we’d be glad to help.
If you have any questions about equity release, please get in touch with us on 0800 612 6755.
Thanks for reading, we look forward to hearing from you.