72% of advisers expect equity release market to grow in 2021

Almost three quarters of financial advisers (72%) expect the value of the equity release market to grow next year, with a fifth thinking it could increase to more than £6bn in value.

According to new research published by Canada Life, only 42% of advisers saw growth in their equity release book during 2020, as the global pandemic took hold. Sixty-two per cent expect the market to return to pre-COVID levels by Q2 2021 and surpass them by the end of the year.

Fifty-seven per cent of advisers think the average customer age will get younger and 45% believe the size of loans will increase.

The main drivers of demand for equity release in 2021 will be:
• Increased awareness and comfort with equity release among homeowners (59%)
• The impact of COVID-19 on family finances (58%)
• Insufficient pensions savings (50%)
• Paying off increased debt in retirement (45%)
• Stock market volatility reducing the value of private pensions and other investments (18%)
 
Alice Watson, head of marketing, insurance, Canada Life said: “There is no doubt 2020 has been challenging for many reasons, but it is great to see so much positivity looking forward to next year. Advisers are clearly anticipating a growth in demand driven by both improved awareness of equity release and families reassessing their finances in light of the pandemic. Predictions around a shift in customer age and increase in loan size, point to a move in how homeowners view their home as a financial asset much like pensions or ISAs.

“The world is changing around us, but closer to home we need to consider how best to use our overall wealth to provide the secure financial futures we seek. Advisers are best placed to show clients how to plan for that future.” 

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