Optimism over equity release

The majority of advisers believe the equity release market will continue to grow over the next six months.

A survey by Norwich Union Equity Release reveals 87% of advisers expect to be writing more business in the next six months compared with 75% a year ago.

The 200 advisers who took part in the poll highlight the growing popularity of property as an investment as being one of three factors that has led to growth in equity release, with 27% saying rising house prices have encouraged interest in the sector.

Advisers also point to inadequate pension provision and the fact many people want to maintain their lifestyles in retirement as reasons individuals need to look at alternative sources of income. Some 36% of advisers say lower returns on investments will see more consumers turning to the equity release market.

Advisers also believe there is an increasing openness about equity release, with family and friends more willing to discuss it as a way of funding retirement. This is reflected in the increase in the numbers of newly retired people requesting information about the sector.