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More homeowner go for equity release
September 2017

Homeowners have released 50% more equity from their homes in the past three months than the previous quarter while house sales have fallen in the same period, according to statistics published this week.

The figures, from equity release provider Responsible Equity Release, also show the number of householders choosing to release equity increased by 28.4% in the same period, and by86.6% against same quarter last year.

The provider says that equity release plans arranged by homeowners averaged more than £100,000 in June - August, with an average of £74,116 released from their properties immediately and an average additional borrowing facility of £35,514, to draw from, if and when they need the money.

Regionally, homeowners in the North West released more than double (102.3%) the amount of equity in August compared to July. While, the total amount of equity released by homeowners in the East of England in August was 55.3% higher than in July. Individually, Scottish homeowners released an average of £39,068 in August versus £23,702 in July, an increase of 64.8%.

London saw a 17.2% drop in the total amount of equity released by homeowners in August compared to July, with an average amount of £174,489 last month. That drop off in the total amount of equity released by homeowners in the capital is likely due to the cooling London property market, which has performed worse than almost any other regional market in the UK over the past few months.

Steve Wilkie, managing director of Responsible Equity Release, said: “The Bank of England has indicated that an interest rate rise is on the horizon, but a small increase in the base rate is unlikely to help Britain’s retirees who have suffered more than most during the past eight years of record low rates.

“Whether rates will rise in the near future is anyone’s guess, and many people have decided there’s no point in waiting for that day. Instead, they have taken matters into their own hands and are using their one major asset, their property, to boost flagging income. 

“The Government seems to have forgotten the millions of retirees when it comes to its monetary policy, and equity release has stepped up and proven a financial lifesaver. It has provided a viable and much-needed income stream, where savings and investments have failed to do so. 

“In particular, we have noticed how popular the drawdown option has become. Britain’s retirees aren’t about to blow all their money on holidays and sports cars, but knowing that they have an income tap facility in place that can be turned on when required is reassuring.”

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