The equity release market is a shadow of its former self

Published: 29/11/2013

From keyboard synthesizers to brat pack films, iconic music videos to Pac Man, the 80s are famous for so many things. It was also the decade in with equity release schemes were first launched. But just like 80s hair and fashion, the equity release market has come a very long way.

As the sector is poised for a record breaking year Richard Espley, Head of Equity Release, takes a trip down memory lane and explains why life wasn’t better in the 80s:

“When the industry first launched it rightly earned itself a bad reputation. The sector was unregulated and instead of achieving its aim of helping retired homeowners sky high interest rates sent them spiralling into debt.

“Thankfully things are very different now. The sector is now fully regulated and, as a result, homeowners are protected from falling into negative equity. There has also been a real change in the products now available, all of which has contributed to the record breaking year the market is on course for.

“Latest figures have revealed nearly £300m was released in the third quarter of the year, up 17 per cent on quarter two. The industry is currently 15 per cent ahead of where it was last year in terms of equity released (£808.19m) while the average amount released in up 10 per cent to £57,286. This all points to a growing confidence in the sector and a widening marketplace, something not many expected in those initial stages. Well, what can I say - we’ve all learnt lessons from the 80s!”

Content correct at time of publication

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