Equity release grows by volume, but declines by value

The equity release market grew by volume, but declined by value in thie first half of 2006, data released today by the Council of Mortgage Lenders shows.

The number of new equity release mortgages increased by 2% on the same period last year from 10,877 to 11,130. However, by value there was a decline of 7% on the figure achieved in the first six months last year, from 493m to 460m.

Today’s figures bring the total number of outstanding equity release mortgages to 113,678 worth over 5.8bn. However, this represents just 0.55% of all outstanding lending.

Laurence Baxter, CML senior policy adviser, says: “Today’s data paints an encouraging picture of the equity release market. More people are taking out equity release mortgages, showing that slowly but surely, the market is continuing to grow.

“Consumer confidence will continue to improve if the good practices of providers and some intermediaries become more widespread across the market. One way advisers can do this is by making full use of the tools developed by the CML, such as the good practice notes and Fintal tax and benefits software.

“It is our belief that the market has the potential to continue to grow over the coming years. There is over 1.1 trillion tied up in the homes of people aged over 65, and recently we have seen a wealth of research from various think tanks suggesting ways the market can be opened up to a wider range of people.”