Q3 2020 equity release market statistics

Summary – link to full report appears below

Equity release activity makes a steady return in Q3 with 10,351 new plans agreed

  • The number of new equity release plans agreed (10,351) increased by 41% from the previous quarter as national lockdown conditions were eased.
  • The number remained 9% down year-on-year (from 11,419 in Q3 2019) and it was the second slowest quarter since Q1 2018 (discounting Q2 2020).
  • There was a gradual increase in new customer activity during the quarter: July saw 3,147 new plans agreed, followed by 3,228 in August and 3,976 in September.
  • 6,697 customers returned during Q3 to take extra drawdowns from their agreed reserves – up 19% from 5,608 in the previous quarter but 30% below the 9,605 seen this time last year.
  • £963m of property wealth was unlocked in total during Q3 2020 by new or returning customers, up by 38% from Q2, but down 3% from Q3 2019.
  • The climb back towards pre-Covid levels of activity was influenced by an extended pipeline and delayed cases from earlier in the year; new plans agreed in the six months from April to September remained 20% below the same period in 2019.

David Burrowes, Chairman of the Equity Release Council, comments:

“These figures show a steady return to something closer to normal activity over the summer, after the
market weathered the initial impact of Covid-19. With the country experiencing a break from lockdown,
the pick-up was helped by a mix of new enquiries and delayed cases from earlier in the year.

“Equity release is a carefully considered choice, and this year’s unprecedented events make it more
important than ever for people to weigh up their decisions through regulated financial advice,
independent legal advice and conversations with those closest to them.

“Despite the uncertain climate, the market has adjusted well to the challenges of operating safely in a
pandemic. Desktop property valuations have been used selectively, solicitors have taken extra steps to
maintain consumer protections when advising remotely, and product pricing has remained competitive.

“Looking ahead, the key market drivers remain in place: people are living longer and retirement finances
are increasingly squeezed as generous final salary pensions edge further to extinction. Many older
households are already facing a situation where their expenses outweigh their disposable income,
which makes access to property wealth an important pillar to support later life living standards.”

To read the full report CLICK HERE