Equity release is key for IFAs’ future

Equity release is set to become a key area of growth for IFAs, LV= research shows.

Research shows a whopping 98% of IFAs believe there will be a surge in consumers using equity release over the next few years.

A total of 35% already treat equity release as a core part of their business.

IFAs cited a shortfall in pension provision as the top reason for equity release growth, with home improvements and helping family onto the property ladder the next biggest factors.

When looking into long term care planning, 88% of IFAs indicated that they believed, in the right circumstances, equity release could be the best option for people needing to fund long-term care in the home.

Vanessa Owen, head of equity release at LV=, says: “Advisers can clearly see the importance property will play in people financing their future in and around retirement, and a large number of IFAs now class equity release as core to their business.

“People’s homes are often their greatest asset, so it makes sense for them to be able to access that capital when they need it.”

Andrea Rozario, director general of Safe Home Income Plans, says he isn’t surprised at the results considering the longevity issues.

She adds: “Clearly the shortfall in pensions, along with an increasing need to pay for care in later life is becoming more important for the consumer and turning to their biggest asset, often their property is a logical step.

“The use of this asset can help alleviate problems for customers as long as they are fully aware of all the options open to them and this is where advisers play a critical role.”

The LV= equity release road shows focused on professional connections and lead generation. The events covered issues around state benefits and equity release.

A total of 256 IFAs who attended the road shows took part in the research.

LV= is running its next annual series of equity release road shows for IFAs in spring 2011.