Equity release market shows continued growth

Article date: 29 October 2001

Thousands of homeowners are cashing in on the freedom offered byequity release products, new industry figures reveal.

Figures out this month from SHIP (Safe Home Income Plans)– which represents the major equity release providers –show that the market has grown by more than 200% in the past fiveyears.

Figures for the first six months of 2001 show that the over-60’s received over £230 million in equity release schemes– which allow homeowners to release money from theirproperties - compared with just £70 million in 1997.

Despite this continued growth, research from Norwich Union, thelargest provider of mortgage-based equity release products, showsthat many over-60s are still in the dark when it comes to financialmatters.

A staggering 94% cent don’t know that IFA stands forindependent financial adviser and only two-fifths have ever soughtprofessional financial advice.

Instead the over 60s rely on and trust family members most whenit comes to financial advice and decisions. The person they arelikely to turn to next is their bank manager.

To help the over-60s and their families understand how equityrelease works, Norwich Union has produced a free step-by- stepguide called ‘Unlock your future – equity release madeeasy’.

The guide, written by a personal finance journalist, is designedto provide impartial, straightforward information about the varioussteps involved in choosing and taking out an equity releaseplan.

It includes details about how to gather information about thevarious plans available, the valuation process, the legal paperworkand keeping in touch with the equity release provider. It alsoincludes a checklist and jargon buster of difficult terms orphrases.

Daren Carter, head of equity release marketing for NorwichUnion, said: “These latest industry figures are veryencouraging. It would appear that the equity release is no longersimply viewed as a last resort and people are now able to enjoyeverything from dream holidays to home extensions as the equityrelease market takes off.

“Our aim is to help take some of the mystery out of theequity release process by giving the over-60s and their familiesthe confidence to make the right choices to help them put cash intheir pockets so they can get the most out ofretirement.”

To obtain a free copy of Norwich Union’s ‘Unlockyour future – equity release made easy’ guide callFreefone 0800 122 876

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For further media information, contact Anja Kueppers or MatthewBuchanan at QBO on 020 7379 0304 or Louise Zucchi at Norwich UnionPress Office on 08703 666860

Notes to Editors:

  • Norwich Union commissioned an independent survey of 496 peopleaged over 60 in May 2001
  • People interested in finding out more about NorwichUnion’s equity release products should call 0845 300 2493 ortalk it over with their own Financial Adviser.
  • Security will be required. CHECK THAT THIS MORTGAGE WILL MEETYOUR NEEDS IF YOU WANT TO MOVE OR SELL YOUR HOME OR WANT YOURFAMILY TO INHERIT IT. IF YOU ARE IN DOUBT SEEK INDEPENDENTADVICE.
  • Norwich Union offers two options for people wanting to releasecash from their home. The Flexible Cash Release Plan releases acash lump sum and the Flexible Income Release Plan enablescustomers to receive a regular income – or the option totake up to 25% of the money released as a cash lump sum as well asa regular income. Loans are secured by a legal charge on theirproperty.

There is nothing to repay during the customers’ lifetimeunless the house is sold or they need to go into long termcare.

The plans should be seen as a lifetime commitment. Substantialearly repayment charges may be payable if the loan is repaid for areason other than death or long term care needs.

Full terms and conditions or a personal illustration areavailable on request.

The income under a Flexible Income Release Plan is provided by aNorwich Union Immediate Life Annuity. The annuity has no cash invalue at any time. Part of the income received under a FIRP istaxable as savings income.

Entitlement to state/tax benefits may be affected by taking outan equity release plan.

Norwich Union only advises on its own products.

  • CGU and Norwich Union merged on 30 May 2000 to create CGNU plc- the world’s 6th largest insurer, the UK's largestinsurance group and one of the top-five life insurers in Europewith substantial positions in other markets around the world.
  • CGNU’s principal business activities are long-termsavings, fund management and general insurance, with worldwidepremium income and retail investment sales from ongoing businessof over £27 billion and assets under management of more than £210billion (correct as at February 2001).
  • From October 2000, the combined life and pensions, generalinsurance and retail fund management businesses in the UK operateunder the Norwich Union brand, while the institutional investmentbusiness operates under the Morley Fund Management brand.
  • Norwich Union’s news releases are available on thissite

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