Key Moments for Equity Release in 2012

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 more important.

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 retirement.

From all of us at ERSA we wish you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.



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