Equity deals via brokers up

Nearly half of all equity release business comes from intermediaries – over 10% more than last year.

The figures, revealed by The Council of Mortgage Lenders at the Mortgage Business Expo last Tuesday, show an even split between equity release business secured through direct sales and through brokers.

The figures also show that lifetime mortgages account for three-quarters of the equity release market and £1bn of lending per year while home reversions account for one quarter and £250m. Overall, it is estimated that the equity release market has increased by 121% over the last year.

Speaking at the Expo, Bob Wright, manager of lifetime mortgages at Northern Rock, revealed figures showing that over eight in 10 customers are satisfied with their equity release products while a further eight in 10 would recommend the products to others. Over nine in 10 also found the product literature easy to understand.

Mark King, managing director at Putney-based Crown Equity Release, says: “It&#39s good that more people are using financial advisers for these products but I dispute that the literature is clear. Banks and building societies need to make their policies more transparent, especially in terms of their charges in redeeming the mortgage and what happens when the client wants to move house.”

• A report from Mintel shows that people in Britain are choosing property over pensions to provide for their retirement. Two in every five adults would seriously consider property as a way of saving for their retirement. This compares with one in four who would consider a company pension and a mere one in six who would consider a personal or stakeholder pension. Property proved to be the single most popular way to build up a retirement pot.