The Equity Release Council’s (ERC’s) 2019 report released this week identifies that lending of £3.92bn last year was down from £3.94bn on the previous year, which is reflective of the broader housing market, in which residential mortgage lending fell 1.1 per cent last year to £265.8bn, compared to £267.5bn in 2018.
Here at Equity Release Supermarket we announced a record-breaking year for the company despite the relatively unchanged industry performance figures. We surpassed the industry standard, achieving continued growth throughout 2019, reporting a rise in the value of applications to 37% YOY, along with the value of issued business up 29% YOY.
Mark Gregory, our founder and CEO commented: “There are numerous reasons behind a year of consolidation within the equity release market, however the lack of confidence within the broader housing market, predominantly due to the uncertainty surrounding Brexit, has no doubt played a huge part in this. For us, this was reflective in our average case value for 2019, which was 2% lower than in 2018.”
Whilst lifetime mortgages don’t involve the sale of a property, the value of the property is highly influential in determining the size of the loan. Therefore, given that house prices have fallen most dramatically in London last year, it’s not surprising that Londoners considering equity release have waited to see improvements and an uplift in the capital’s housing market before progressing.
“In contrast to this however, we did see positive movement in December 2019, when the average case size nationally was 43% above the 2019 annual average. A result, we believe is due to a renewed confidence, particularly within the London housing market, which has created a positive knock on effect within the wider equity release sector.” said Mark.
We also saw that in December of last year, the market in London saw an increase of 4% in Quarter 3, with the average case size being 37% above the national average for the month.
Mark went on to say: “2019 has been a momentous year for us - bucking the market trend, evolving our talented team and working on pioneering technology. We continually invest in our people and are recruiting heavily this year in order to aid our growth and bring together the very best in class.”
Other notable milestones include the appointment of ERS’s Head of Compliance, Graham Evans, as Chief Examiner for the CeRER, the gold standard equity release qualification, as well as the launch of our new site providing a comprehensive range of research facilities, calculators, comparison tools and content in the market, helping to support both advisers and customers.
Mark added: “We continue to be digital innovators in our field and lead the way in terms of ground-breaking new initiatives. This comes with great opportunity and marks significant change within the industry. We look forward to another successful and developing year ahead.”
For more information about releasing equity, contact the Equity Release Supermarket team on 0800 802 1051, or email [email protected], for a free consultation.