Equity release customer numbers at record high in October

Equity release customer numbers at record high in October

Despite the issues facing the wider UK housing market, the popularity of equity release shows no sign of waning, with the number of homeowners releasing equity from their properties hitting a new high in October, according to the latest figures from leading equity release provider Responsible Equity Release.

Completed equity release plans were at record levels in October, up almost a fifth (19.2%) on September, and up more than three-quarters (76.5%) on the corresponding month in 2016. Over the past quarter (August to October 2017), the number of equity release plans taken out was 24% higher than the previous three months (May to July 2017).  

The total amount of equity released in October was up 3.8% on September and more than double (111.9%) the amount released in October 2016. Total equity released over the past quarter (August to October 2017) was up close to a third (32%) on the previous quarter (May to July 2017).

The average amount of equity released by individual homeowners dropped from a high of £84,057 in September to just under £71,000 in October.
Regionally, homeowners in the North East released more than seven times the level of equity from their properties in October compared to the previous month. While, twice as many homeowners in the East Midlands took out equity release plans last month compared to September.

London and Northern Ireland were the only areas to see a drop in the number of homeowners releasing equity from their homes in October. This could be due to concerns over house prices, as it’s been heavily publicised that the London housing market is cooling.


Although many property owners in the capital are sitting on huge amounts of equity in their homes, there is likely to be some resistance to releasing equity while prices are falling, even though equity release plans generally come with a ‘no negative equity’ guarantee. This guarantee means that the amount to be paid back – the original loan plus interest – can never be higher than the value of your home, even if the actual value of your home falls.

Steve Wilkie, managing director, Responsible Equity Release, comments: “It finally happened. The Bank of England has raised the base rate and raised the hopes of millions of UK pensioners.

Now the Bank of England has turned the rate rise tap on, we could well see a series of incremental rate rises over the next few years. That would be great news for UK pensioners, but right now, what does a 0.25% rate rise mean? To be honest, not a great deal. It’s unlikely to have any financial impact, especially with banks showing little desire to pass this rate rise onto savings accounts.

It leaves pensioners in the same financial predicament. They have endured a decade of dire savings growth, and with inflation likely to rise beyond three percent, many are struggling to cope with escalating living costs.

If investments and savings aren’t providing income, what are their options? For many, it’s their home; the only asset they have which they can generate an income stream from, and it’s no surprise to see the popularity of equity release grow as a result.

The equity release industry has proven itself to be well placed to provide a genuine retirement income solution. The industry is listening to what consumers want and adapting its product range accordingly. When millions of people have paid into their homes, why shouldn’t they be able to make their homes work for them during their lifetime.”

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Latest Comments

Tony Gimple
Tony Gimple 09 Dec 2017

Linking professionalism to limited company borrowing is a flawed concept. Despite S24 etc., limited companies are the most tax inefficient way of running a property business and leave borrowers seriously...

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Evelyn Attwood
Evelyn Attwood 01 Dec 2017

It's normal. If you plan to buy a house in one of the most beautiful spots in the country you should pay a high price.

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Evelyn Attwood
Evelyn Attwood 01 Dec 2017

I think that the situation will be the same at December.

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Scott Garnet
Scott Garnet 06 Nov 2017

If you have a patio or a porch it is important to make sure that any connecting doors are secured. Good advice for sliding glass doors is replacing the panels with storm resistant glass and getting heavier...

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richardrawlings
richardrawlings 01 Nov 2017

What has not been mentioned here is the effect of not only higher interest payments, but also that these payments are less likely to be offsettable as a business cost due to the scaling back of mortgage...

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Kelvin Lloyd
Kelvin Lloyd 09 Oct 2017

IT is up, to the Planners. If they will only give permission for bungalows on certain (suitable) sites, they will be built.

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maggie swift
maggie swift 09 Oct 2017

It's just the beginning of the shocking rise.

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maggie swift
maggie swift 09 Oct 2017

I have recently read that the bungalows can provide social housing for elderly residents in London.

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zoe glover
zoe glover 05 Oct 2017

Update! Worst company I have ever dealt with. Undervalued a Cambridge property by over 100k, wont take on any evidence of valuation including a RICS valuation done 3 years ago for the very same value...

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Paul Edwards
Paul Edwards 27 Sep 2017

Its nonsense articles such as this that make it harder to get clients to realise just how difficult the market is out there. When you see Rightmove and there are more 'price reduced' then 'new' most days...

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Tom Allen
Tom Allen 20 Sep 2017

Absolutely agree with you!

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RyanGeo
RyanGeo 18 Sep 2017

A sharp correction would be a less dramatic expression to use. That is already underway in certain sectors in Reading where I practice as Chartered Surveyor

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