Kevin Watling, mortgage protection and equity release specialist :
A quick look at where the equity release market is standing now as opposed to pre-pandemic times, courtesy of extracts from the Equity Release Council market statistics for the second quarter of 2021.
On a personal viewpoint, I certainly noticed a marked decrease in the number of inquiries during the first lockdown period, which was not surprising considering the advice was basically to batten down the hatches and shelter from face-to-face contact.
I strongly believe that this is one subject area that should only be done face to face, to fully explore those questions and queries that only conversation can really bring out.
Emails and phone discussions are effective in bringing out the 'hard' facts of dates, values, etc but frequently body language can just highlight an otherwise concealed concern.
According to the council figures, there were 20,532 new and returning customers accessing property wealth between April and June this year which was close to pre-pandemic levels.
In actual monetary terms this meant that over-55-year-old homeowners unlocked some £1.17 billion of property wealth in this period.
To quote the chairman of the Equity Release Council: ”The equity release market is showing signs of stability and durability as the option to access property wealth opens doors for thousands of people to pursue their financial goals.
“The steady recovery has been helped by confidence in the wider property market, where house price gains over the last year have given many homeowners more equity at their disposal.
"Equity release has become a more socially important means for one generation to help another, as well as meeting later life financial needs.”
I have been lucky enough to attend a meeting at the Houses of Parliament with the council in their role lobbying Government about the use of housing wealth in later life and retirement planning.
Can it do the same for you? Why not just ask – face to face ideally – 35 years of experience for 35 minutes of your time!
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