Equity Release Hits £1.71 Billion As Plan Sales Surge

  • Retired homeowners release £9.5 million a day in the first half of the year
  • Families benefit as retired homeowners give cash, Key Retirement’s H1 2018 Equity Release Market Monitor shows

Retired homeowners released £1.71 billion of property wealth in the first six months of the year as the equity release market continued its record-breaking expansion, new data from the UK’s leading independent equity release adviser Key Retirement shows.

Around £9.5 million of property wealth was released every day in the six months to July with equity release plan sales growing by 29% on the same period of 2017, Key’s H1 2018 Equity Release Market Monitor shows.

Customers are receiving an average of nearly £78,000 to boost their standard of living in retirement with families one of the biggest beneficiaries of their property wealth gains.

Around 28% of retired homeowners used some or all of the money for gifts for families compared with 23% in the first six months of 2017.

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The total value of property wealth released to the end of June increased by 37% on the previous year to £1.71 billion from £1.24 billion and plan sales grew to 22,816 from 17,656.

Dean Mirfin, chief product officer at Key Retirement, said: “Customer demand is driving the expansion in the market to new record highs enabling more retired homeowners to transform their finances.

“More money was released in the first six months of 2018 than in the whole of 2015 as records continue to be broken across the market with expert independent advisers playing a vital role.

“Property wealth is not just helping to transform an individual’s retirement planning but is also helping their families with their financial needs. The growth in gifting underlines how much can be achieved when the average amounts being released are as much as £78,000. The Bank of Mum and Dad, or Gran and Grandad are changing lives, and not just their own.”

The most popular use of the money released in the six months was to fund home and garden improvements with 63% of retired homeowners spending some of the money on their houses while 33% used the cash to pay for holidays.

Debt remains an issue – around one in five (22%) cleared outstanding mortgages during the six months and 32% paid off credit cards or loans.

Key’s Equity Release Market Monitor, which analyses its data reflecting both Equity Release Council members and non-members, shows the South East of England accounted for more than a quarter of all equity release sales and nearly 30% of total lending.

Retired homeowners in London released an average £133,000 of property wealth each in the six months – the highest in the country – followed by the South East on nearly £90,000 and the South West on £77,000.

But every region saw strong growth in the value of property wealth released. The total value of property wealth released soared by 65% in East Anglia and plan sales surged by 50% in the West Midlands.

Other areas recording strong growth in property wealth released included the West Midlands at 62% and the East Midlands on 56% followed by the North East at 55%. Hot spots for rising sales of plans included the East Midlands at 45% followed by Northern Ireland on 43% and Wales on 42%.

RegionNumber of plans sold H1 2018 Number of plans sold H1 2017Total value released H1 2018 (£ million)Total value released H1 2017 (£ million)
South East5,8604,822£505.169£394.155
London2,4571,950£314.655£222.169
South West2,4572,195£182.416£158.694
North West1,9571,440£108.038£79.260
East Anglia1,7621,276£126.671£76.903
East Midlands1,9681,361£119.635£76.706
West Midlands1,7701,183£109.595£67.653
Yorkshire & Humberside1,4041,059£75.143£56.263
Scotland1,3201,037£68.129£46.590
Wales1,015713£55.743£38.127
North East649481£35.988£23.260
Northern Ireland198139£8.544£7.275
UK22,81617,656£1,710 bn£1,246 bn

Around 57% of all sales were drawdown plans, including 13% in enhanced drawdown which offers enhanced terms to people with health or lifestyle conditions, compared with 43% from lump sum lifetime mortgages including 16% of enhanced products.

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