Equity release plan choice hits record high

The equity release market is thriving and is expected to grow in the years to come, as lenders expand and tailor their ranges to cater to demand.

In recent months we’ve seen innovative plans launched and this increased competition is great news for homeowners (like you) who are considering equity release, as lenders are fighting hard for your business.

Advisers who recommend plans from the whole market (like we do) now have nearly 700 deals to choose from – up from 88 five years ago. This year alone Moneyfacts’ analysis of equity release plan numbers revealed a 45 per cent rise in deals from 480 in January to 698 in August.

This record high signifies the commitment from lenders to give homeowners access to the best plans when unlocking their property wealth.

One size doesn’t fit all

There’s no such thing as a typical equity release customer, as we see over-55s releasing cash for any number of reasons; from repaying an existing mortgage, to helping loved ones and improving their standard of living.

That’s why the boom in plan choice has come at the perfect time, so that our advisers are able to match your individual needs to a tailored plan.

Many of today’s flexible plans include modern features such as:

  • Guaranteed inheritance
  • Voluntary interest repayments
  • Fixed early repayment charges
  • Downsizing protection
  • Cashback offers

Plans with more flexible features could be more expensive. But don’t worry, our advisers will ask you the right questions to ensure that you get the features that are right for you at the best interest rate. They will also explain how equity release will reduce the value of your estate and may affect your entitlement to means-tested benefits, now or in the future.

Focus on rates

In addition to a growth in deals, the average interest rates on lifetime mortgages are much lower now than they were five years ago – 5.76 per cent compared to 4.32 per cent. And the lowest rate on the market is now just 2.46 per cent MER (2.65% APR) – a rate that is fixed for life.

The rate you get will depend on your individual circumstances, which is why it’s important to get advice from a whole-of-market equity release adviser. They will help you to navigate the abundance of deals on the market today by doing a thorough fact-find to fully understand your objectives before recommending the best plan for your individual circumstances .

How much could you borrow?

Loan to value (LTV) caps have risen too. In August 2016, the average maximum LTV was 49 per cent, but in the years that followed higher LTVs fell out of favour and the average fell to 46 per cent in April 2019. However, Moneyfacts’ report shows the average LTV cap has now recovered to 50 per cent. In simple terms this means homeowners can unlock on average half of the value of their home.

Is equity release right for you?

Equity release can be a good way to unlock some of the equity you have built up in your home, without having to move or worry about making monthly repayments. And you now have more options than ever before if this is something you are considering.

The first step to releasing the cash from your home should always be to get advice from a specialist adviser. Not only will we tell you if equity release is right for you, but we’ll find the best deal for you by navigate the growing choice available from all equity release lenders. It’s a regulatory requirement and you can’t take out an equity release plan without advice.

Our friendly advisers can help you to explore equity release – and the alternatives – with no jargon, pressure or bias without it costing you a penny. Only if you decide to go ahead, we charge an advice fee of £995, payable on completion.

Equity release may involve a home reversion or a lifetime mortgage, which is secured against your property. To understand the features and risks, ask for a personalised illustration. Equity release requires paying off any existing mortgage. Any money released, plus accrued interest would be repaid upon death, or moving into long-term care.