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Equity-release sales booming

Mortgage brokers in Northern Ireland have been told they could be missing out on a huge growth opportunity in equity release.

At the Mortgage Business Expo in Belfast last week, Equity Advice director Stuart Wilson told brokers that equity release is a market where they can establish themselves quickly.

He said that there was a 208 per cent increase in 2007 of people taking out equity release in Northern Ireland.

Wilson said the value of borrowing tripled, helped by the dramatic growth in house prices in Northern Ireland over the last few years.

He said in 2006 there were only three equity-release providers in the market but this had grown to eight by the end of 2007.

Wilson commented: “That is a significant investment in this region’s ability to now play seriously in the equity release market. The commitment is there from the providers, they are now seeking commitment from the intermediaries. There are not enough of you in the market. If you are not already in, we want you in now.”

He pointed out other benefits of the equity-release sector, including average earnings per case of £1,500, less underwriting per case, the market is growing quicker than most other sectors and fee charging is expected due to the type of advice given.

Wilson says brokers that are already in the equity-release market should look how to enhance their income from procuration fees by talking to providers, ensure that they achieve the qualifications and have a clear audit trail for research.

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