Equity release plans are as safe as houses - even if property prices fall

Article date: 18 March 2003

Recent reports of a property market slowdown will not worryexisting or future Norwich Union equity release customers –they have no need to fear falling house prices.

As the market leader in equity release, all Norwich Unioncustomers are fully protected against any negative equity trap nowand in the future.

Norwich Union’s equity release scheme contains a guaranteethat ensures the loan plus accrued interest can never exceed theopen market value of their property. So even if house prices fall,Norwich Union’s customers will never be asked to pay backmore than their home is worth.

Equity release schemes are very popular, with sales doublingover the past two years. Norwich Union estimates that 90,000customers are actively considering releasing £3.2bn of equity intheir homes.

Every year thousands of homeowners over 60 use equity release tofree up the capital tied up in their homes through mortgage styleschemes. This type of scheme is attractive to many people becausethere are no monthly repayments and the loan plus the interest isonly repaid when the plan ends, usually on death or the need forlong term care.

In addition to Norwich Union’s no negative equityguarantee, the amount a homeowner can borrow is restricted to apercentage of the property value depending on their age. This meansthat there is a considerable equity buffer between the amount ofthe loan and the value of the property at completion.

Customers have already released over £900 million of equity intheir homes through Norwich Union’s equity release loan.

Paul Stokes, Head of Marketing for Norwich Union Equity Release,said: “More and more people are looking to the equity intheir home to fill gaps in their retirement finances. Whateverhappens to property prices, our no negative equity guarantee meansthat our customers are protected.”


Notes to editors

  • Norwich Union is the UK’s largest insurer. It is aleading provider of life, pensions and investment products and oneof the leading IFA providers. IFAs provide around 75% of thecompany’s long-term savings business.
  • Norwich Union has strategic alliances with building societiesand other leading UK brand names including Tesco Personal Financeand The Royal Bank of Scotland Group.
  • Norwich Union’s news releases are available on the Avivaplc website at www.aviva.com
  • A selection of images are available from the Norwich UnionNewscast site at www.newscast.co.uk

Minimum property values apply. Equity release is alifetime loan secured against your home. CHECK THAT THIS MORTGAGEMEETS YOUR NEEDS IF YOU WANT TO MOVE OR YOU WANT YOUR FAMILYTOINHERIT IT. IF YOU ARE IN DOUBT, SEEK INDEPENDENT ADVICE. Apersonal illustration and full terms and conditions are availableon request. Norwich Union equity release limited No. 3286484.Registered at 2 Rougier Street, York YO90 1UU. Not available inNorthern Ireland, the Channel Islands and the Isle ofMan

Press office contacts:

James Evans - 08703 66 68 78 / 07790 487105
Ian Beggs - 08703 66 68 71 / 07790 487 533
Louise Goffee - 08703 66 68 70 / 0781

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