Equity withdrawal rises for first time since 2003

Figures from the Bank of England highlight an upturn in the amount of mortgage equity being withdrawn.

The Bank’s estimate of mortgage equity withdrawal has risen to 8.7bn for Q2 2005 from 6.4bn from Q1 of the same year, an increase of 2.3bn.

Dean Mirfin, business development director of Key Retirement Solutions, says people have been hopeful of this change.

Mirfin says: “There has been consumer uncertainty about going ahead with a further increase of equity until now and this change may be because of the recent period of stability in property prices.”

But the Bank’s estimate is still down on the figure for the same time last year of 12.4bn. The figure had been gradually falling since the end of 2003 when it peaked at 17.5bn.

And Mirfin suggests there may be another reason behind this reversal in trend.

He says: “I have found in conversations with mortgage brokers that there’s a certain amount of caution out there because a lot of their clients who are remortgaging are not doing so for the same amount as their mortgages and are taking more equity.”

In 2003, the initial decline in the amount of equity being withdrawn came at a time when interest rates had been reduced to combat excessive house prices.