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Grainger’s buyout of Sovereign limits equity release field

The news that Sovereign Reversions, parent of Home & Capital, has been acquired by Bridgewater Equity Release owner Grainger, is good for funding.

Home & Capital restricted its maximum release and property value earlier this year but Grainger has deep enough pockets to boost the funding of home reversion plans.

On the other hand, this move effectively narrows the sector to just two players as Aviva also relies on Grainger funding, leaving just Hodge Lifetime, with its less popular 90% LTV product.

We should encourage new companies to seek the backing of private equity firms as the UK residential property sector offers promising returns in the years ahead.

Simon Chalk


First Direct takes on staff as low fee deals take off

First Direct is being forced to hire staff after a surge in interest in its deals with a £99 fee. The direct-only lender has created an appointment system but customers are being forced to wait at least two weeks.


Affordability still stopping FTBs

Despite monthly mortgage payments as a percentage of income at half 2007 levels first time buyers cite affordability as the main reason for not buying a home, Halifax research shows.


Debt advice needed in time of cutbacks

The saying that a stitch in time saves nine may be so well-worn that it has almost lost its meaning but the argument that early intervention is preferable to last-minute action still holds true. As the UK faces up to public sector cuts the importance of brokers’ ability to help their clients tackle personal debt […]


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