Advisers say equity release market set to grow

Article date: 28 October 2005

  • It will become normal part of retirement planning

The equity release market will continue to grow, according to apoll of 200 advisers* conducted by Norwich Union Equity Release. Ofthose questioned, 78% believe they will be writing more business inthe next six months, up from 75% a year ago.

Advisers highlighted three factors that have led to a growingpopularity in equity release.

  • Property is now seen as an investment that can be used and 27%of those surveyed said house price rises have encouraged interestin equity release.
  • Inadequate pension provision and the fact that many peoplewant to maintain their lifestyle in retirement mean thatindividuals need to look at alternative sources of income. Some36% of advisers questioned believe that lower returns oninvestments will see more consumers turning to the equity releasemarket.
  • Family and friends are more willing to discuss equity releaseas a way of funding retirement and there is a greater opennessabout the subject. Advisers said that there had been an increasein the numbers of newly-retired people requesting informationabout equity release.

However, the research also found that many advisers still needmore information on the market and products available to be moreproactive in recommending equity release, particularly reversionschemes. As a result of the findings, Norwich Union is launching aneducation programme in October aimed at advisers who do not havedetailed knowledge of equity release. The campaign is beinglaunched to improve understanding of the products and market and tohelp advisers develop their equity release business.

Brendan Kearns, group product developmentmanager at Norwich Union Equity Release, said: “The researchproves that equity release products are now a real solution forclients wanting to access a lump sum in later life and look set tobecome a normal part of retirement planning. We recognise thatequity release can be a difficult market to access and that thereis a need for more information about the products to be available.As a result of these findings we’ll be developing a range oftools and materials throughout the rest of the year to helpadvisers.”

Information about Norwich Union’s Home Reversion andLifetime Mortgage schemes can be found at www.nuequityrelease.co.ukor call 0845 30 20111.

-ends-

Press office contacts:
Lorna Wiltshire 020 7662 1013 Out of hours 07800 695150
David Gwyer 01904 452828 Out of hours 07800 699508
James Evans 01904 452791 Out of hours 07800 699525

Notes to editors

* Research was undertaken by pB. Qualitative interviews wereconducted between 7 and 15 June 2005. Quantitative researchconducted amongst 200 financial advisers between 9 and 15 June.

  • Norwich Union is the market leading equity release providerwith a market share of 37% (source Safe Home Income Plans Q22005). Full written terms and conditions are available onrequest.
  • Norwich Union is one of the UK's biggest insurers. It is aleading provider of life, pensions and investment products andone of the largest Financial Adviser (FA) providers. FAs provideover 70% of the company's long-term savings business in the UK.
  • Norwich Union has strategic alliances with building societiesand other leading UK brand names including CIS and The Royal Bankof Scotland Group.
  • Norwich Union’s news releases and a selection of imagesare available from Aviva's internet press centre at www.aviva.com/media.

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