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Equity release sales rise 10% year-on-year

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Equity release advances of £199.1m were made by Safe Home Income Plan members in Q1 of 2012, an increase of 10% on the same period last year at £181.6m.

The number of plans also increased year-on-year by 6% to 4,057 in Q1 2012, from 3,838 in Q1 2011, found SHIP.

The trade body said it typically sees a fall in the number and value of plans sold between Q4 and Q1 during the festive season holiday.

This year, it saw a fall of 8% on the last quarter in terms of value of plans, which stood at £215.9m in Q4 2011 and volume of plans at 4,399.

The proportion of equity release plans sold through intermediaries in Q1 remained level with the previous quarter at 90% at a value of £179.5m.

The value of direct sales was at £19.6m in Q1 2012. SHIP added that the proportion of customers choosing to access their equity in smaller tranches has increased over the past quarter. Drawdown mortgages accounted for 67% of the market in Q1, followed by lump sum mortgages at 32% and home reversions at 2%.

SHIP put the increase down to more people choosing to use equity release to supplement a monthly income rather than pay for one-off expenditure.

Andrea Rozario, director general of SHIP, said:

“These figures are extremely encouraging and show that the market is continuing to grow steadily, year-on-year.

“This year is a significant and exciting one for SHIP, as we expand our membership to include members from across the equity release industry. This will allow us to provide an even more comprehensive look at equity release sales figures in the future through the expansion of data available from new members.

“These figures show that there is a growing appetite amongst consumers for equity release products, and by bringing together organisations from across the industry we will ensure that we are well placed to meet this demand”.