According to the latest Spring market report 2021 from the Equity Release Council, the total value of UK property wealth reached a record £4.6 trillion as a result of greater lifetime mortgage availability and average loan-to-value rates falling to their lowest level since before 2007/2008.

As market activity starts to recover from Covid-19, the total value of UK private property passed £6 trillion for the first time at the end of 2020 with total notional mortgage debt rising towards a record £1.5 trillion. 

Record number of new equity release products

Equity release enables homeowners over 55 to release equity from their home which can be used for any purpose and is tax-free. The number of products now available to consumers has risen to record highs with 100 new products added in the first half of 2020 - more than double the number of products available two years earlier.

Access to retirement interest-only mortgages also improved in 2020 with more than 100 products available for the first time. Property also continues to play an important role in the retirement funding mix, ranking second only to pensions, as over-55s withdrew 46p of property wealth for every £1 of flexible pension payments in the second half of 2020.

David Burrowes, Chairman of the Equity Release Council commented:

“Accessing property wealth will play a vital role in retirement planning, both now and in the years to come. For today’s retirees, it can make the difference between making ends meet or enjoying a more comfortable lifestyle by boosting their pension income, improving or adapting their homes life and paying for domestic care support. 

For younger generations, it can open up the possibility of receiving a ‘living inheritance’ to support their own financial goals, such as getting on the property ladder.”

30 years on from when the first equity release products became available, in addition to robust protections and guarantees, the market offers choice and flexibility, giving consumers confidence that modern equity release is safe and reliable. 

Source: Spring market report 2021, ERC