A Round-Up of Key Moments for Equity Release in 2012 and their
implications for the future
2012 has been an important year for the Equity Release industry,
and the creation of The Equity Release Council was one the most
significant moments. For ERSA, this marked the emergence of a
united voice for the entire equity release industry.
Membership expanded to include lawyers, financial advisers,
surveyors and other interested parties, ensuring all aspects of
equity release advice and product provision were covered by the
single body. We particularly welcomed the commitment to
incorporating specialist lawyers into the Council, given their
fundamental role in the equity release process. The Equity Release
Council's commitment to high standards of consumer protection,
awareness and education has certainly contributed to the market's
successful year, upholding high standards across all areas of the
industry. This looks set to continue into the New Year as the
reputation of the Council strengthens with time, and continues to
attract new members.
Another contributor to the rise of interest in equity release
this year has been the 'baby boomer' generation, born in the peak
year of 1947, reaching retirement age, significantly pushing up the
over 65 population. With further cutbacks to government spending,
and nearly three quarters of the adult population drifting towards
retirement without adequate funding according to our research,
equity release can play a role in relieving financial strains for
new retirees. The over-65 population will double between 2010 to
2020, and next year will see the greatest number of new retirees in
history. Accordingly, ERSA anticipates increasing demand for equity
release in 2013. As the number of equity release schemes rises, the
role of special financial and legal advice in ensuring customers
are making the decision which best meets their needs will be ever
Lastly, findings showing the huge sums of equity tied up in
pensioners' property have revealed the current and future potential
of equity release. With £756.3 billion in over-65s property alone,
financial woes could be seriously reduced if accessed via an equity
release scheme. As the reputation of the Equity Release Council
grows, the number of over-65s increases and a substantial amount of
equity remains in property the year ahead for equity release looks
promising. The industry must be ready to provide expert financial
and legal advice, realising that equity release is not right for
everyone, but can offer a real lifeline to some people looking to
access their property wealth and enjoy a comfortable
From all of us at ERSA we wish you a very Merry Christmas and a
Happy New Year.
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