Equity release schemes on the rise

Safe Home Income Plans (Ship), which represents around 90 per cent of the equity release sector, has reported a ten per cent rise in new business over the third quarter.

The total value of new policies reached £303.3 million during this period – with 7,942 equity release plans sold, up from 6,684 in the previous quarter.

Drawdown schemes – where people can initially release a small sum from the equity in their homes then choose to access more if required – have risen in popularity, the body revealed.

Director general Andrea Rozario said that the equity release sector is “holding its own” in the economic slowdown and that the industry is optimistic about the next quarter’s results.

“There remains a clear need for equity release products, which is becoming ever more important as pensioners feel the pinch from the credit crunch.”

Ship recently agreed with the Office of Fair Trading and the National Landlords Association that more regulation of the sale and rent back sector is needed.

By Jamie Price

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