In the grips of a bitterly cold December the mood of themarket in the final month of 2009 was one of future-planning with a focus on 2010.
Another house price rise, the seventh consecutive, meant that December got off to a positive start for equity release customers. The 0.5% rise compared against October suggested the speed with which house prices were increasing was slowing down. However, it put the average value of a UK house at £162,764 and meant customers considering equity release could benefit from being able to release more value.
The air of optimism in the equity release market continued when it emerged that over a third of lifetime mortgages were used for holidays and leisure. The information was provided by Saga Personal Finance who reported that 34% of equity release schemes were used for a holiday or leisure pursuits. It was timely news as the cold began to creep in and we all started to dream of far off climes bathed in sunshine!
The mood of looking towards the future in the equity release market intensified when AIFA (the Association of Independent Financial Advisors) urged the Government to re-examine obstacles to equity release. These calls by AIFA to make equity release more appealing were made ahead of the pre-Budget report.
When the pre-Budget report was released in early December, funding for retirement was a key issue which prompted a better awareness of equity release.
With planning for the future and funding retirement the hot topics in the equity release market, the ERSA (Equity Release Solicitors Alliance) chose the perfect time to reveal that 40% of equity release customers took six months or more doing their research before taking out a plan.
As we approached Christmas the exclusive equity release offers began to materialise with Prudential’s lifetime mortgage offer the pick of the bunch.
This prompted us to put together an informative guide answering some of the common questions asked by equity release customers.
So 2009 ended with renewed optimism in the equity release market, largely inspired by the consecutive house price rises seen in the second half of the year. With reports predicting the UK to move out of recession in 2010, many homeowners may well be able to make the most of an equity release scheme, especially after spending so much time researching it.
Don’t forget to check out our monthly equity release video too with up-to-date news and exclusive deals.