Conveyancing risk to equity release expansion
Over-55s finance specialist, Key Retirement, is calling for more conveyancing firms to provide specialist equity release services to lenders in order to assist the growth of the market.
Just two specialist nationwide firms – Eversheds and enact – currently specialise in conveyancing for equity release and handle the rapidly growing demand from lenders.
Key warns that having just two major conveyancing firms operating in the equity release market has the potential to create problems for lenders especially when caseloads are high leading to potential bottlenecks of activity and delays for customers. With approximately 30% growth in business levels this year, more legal representation is essential.
This lack of competition also means limited options for lenders and customers if service standards slip and potentially keeps costs higher than they need be.
As equity release becomes more popular, with over 8,300 customers taking out plans in Q3 this year alone, the need for specialist representation is paramount and more law firms should specialise and act on behalf of equity release lenders, Key believes.
Dean Mirfin, technical director at Key Retirement, said: “Lenders, who are currently relying on a small number of conveyancing specialists, should have greater choice and flexibility to work with firms with good conveyancing expertise of which there are many, yet for some reason many of these firms are simply not seeing the opportunity that exists in the equity release sector. In order for lenders to continue to provide customers with the quality of service they need in the required timeframes more competition and choice are needed.
Given the growth in the equity release market there are real opportunities for conveyancing specialists to boost their own businesses while enhancing service for customers across the sector.”