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Equity release gains popularity, says IFAP

IFA Promotion has revealed that almost 2,000 IFAs now list lifetime mortgages as an area of specialism.

This figure has increased almost constantly for the last two years and, IFAP says as more people start to explore ways to supplement their pensions, this trend is likely to continue.

In 2006 alone, over 13,000 people used the search criteria to find a local IFA who offers independent advice on lifetime mortgages and equity release.

IFAP spokeswoman Karen Barrett says: “In the winter months many older people have to address factors influencing their home such as heating and electricity which may result in having to review their financial situation. The possibility of releasing equity in their home could well be on the agenda along with other elements of retirement planning.”

Prudential director for lifetime mortgages Ali Crossley says: “A 90 per cent increase in the number of advisers obtaining the CF7 qualification – for lifetime mortgages – is extremely encouraging, however the current overall number of equity release advisers in the market is still not meeting consumer demand.

“Datamonitor predicts that the equity release market could reach £3 billion over the next 5 years, though if the number of advisers coming into this market doesn’t continue to improve, it will not realise its true potential.”

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