Value of lifetime mortgages slips but reversions perform strongly in softening property market

The nineteen members* of UK equity release industry body, SHIP (Safe Home Income Plans), that represents over 90% of the Equity Release sector, today report third quarter figures to 30 September 2005 that are the highest to date in 2005 and show a significant increase in home reversions business written. SHIP believes this reflects the fact that property price inflation is far lower now than in recent years, which is making reversion products more attractive.

The total value of new business written was £293.6 million, 12.5% ahead of the second quarter in 2005 (£260.9 million). Home reversions business increased significantly from £10.6 million in Q2 2005 to £17.3 million in the latest figures. Year on year home reversion have leapt from £9.6 million in Q3 2004 – a rise of 80%. Meanwhile, despite an increase on Q2 2005 business from £205.3 million, year on year figures show a considerable drop in the value of lifetime mortgages business written from £328.8 million (Q3 2004) to £276.3 million.

Jon King Chairman of SHIP said:

“After eight years of seemingly unstoppable growth lifetime mortgages business has begun to slip back, despite it being a record quarter in 2005. However, home reversions have performed strongly this quarter.

“This reflects continued uncertainty in the property market and speculation that house price inflation is not likely to be as great in the future as it has been in the past. This may see increasing numbers on consumers turning to home reversions in preference to lifetime mortgages as the proportion of the house sold is fix.”

Period Total SHIP £m
2005 Q3  293.6
2005 Q2 260.9
2005 Q1 251.4
2005 H1 512.3
2004 FY 1192.30
2004 H1 503.7
2003 FY 1161.40
2002 FY 852
2001 FY 572