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IFAs confident of growth in equity-release market

Eighty-one per cent of IFAs expect the equity-release market to increase in 2005, according to survey by Money Marketing and Mortgage Express.

The most common reasons for people releasing equity in their home is to boost their income, inheritance tax planning, home improvements, giving money to family members and repaying debts.

Mortgage Express product development manager Roger Hillier says: “Most IFAs believe the market will grow and plan to continue selling the products, confirming that equity release is definitely here to stay. It substantiates what we thought – that most IFAs are committed to this area and where they do plan to exit, will generally refer lifetime leads to specialists. Once regulation is bedded in, we expect the sector to continue to grow.”

Mortgage Portfolio Services mortgage planner Simon Chalk says: “It was obvious that once lifetime mortgages became a regulated contract, some advisers would choose not to give advice about equity release. It would not be surprising if there were an initial drop in sales because of confusion about regulation.

“Sales will eventually increase because of the number of income-poor but assetrich clients and because of good inheritance tax planning but advisers will still be jittery for some time to come.”

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