The equity release market has continued to evolve in recent years, with lenders competing not only on interest rates, but also by expanding the number of options they have on offer to meet the growing consumer demand.
At the same time, the number of fixed equity release options has increased by a third in just two years, up from 52 options in 2015 to 82 today, the highest recorded figure in eight years.
|Apr - 15||Apr - 16||Mar - 17||Apr -17|
|Lifetime equity release fixed deals rate||5.91%||6.33%||5.65%||5.63%|
|Number of lifetime equity release fixed deals||52||66||78||82|
Rachel Springall, Finance Expert at Moneyfacts.co.uk, said:
“The rise in product choice and reduction in cost for fixed deals will be exciting news for those who have equity locked up in their homes and are eager to make better use of the cash. New brands, more drawdown options and an influx of incentives have also appeared to appeal to a variety of customers.
“Consumers these days may well be facing a retirement shortfall or have failed to set aside enough cash for potential care fees, so an equity release deal could give them a vital sum to enable them to enjoy their later years much more comfortably.
“Committing to an equity release deal shouldn’t be taken lightly, and there will usually be fees to pay for advice, valuations and legal costs. Therefore, it would be wise for prospective borrowers to consult with their family members, particularly if they are concerned about leaving an inheritance.
“Thanks to increased choice, consumers must now be more diligent when comparing deals, so seeking independent financial advice may prove vital. The lowest rate isn’t always the best option when it comes to picking the right equity release plan, and consumers may well prioritise how much they can receive in a lump sum instead. This, coupled with differing eligibility criteria such as a variety of minimum age requirements for borrowers, means that the equity release minefield could be much easier to tread when armed with good independent advice.”
*Data collection of the average fixed rate for lifetime equity release began in 2008, where it stood at 6.75%. There were 51 fixed options in 2008 and 83 in 2009.