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Lender looking at return to release

Retirement Plus is considering a return to the equity-release market while Hodge Lifetime is looking to boost lending and New Life Mortgages is to enter the home-reversion sector.

Last week, revealed that Stonehaven has returned to the market a year after suspending new lending.

Retirement Plus managing director Duncan Young says the provider is considering a return to the market after suspending new lending last April due to funding issues. He says: “We have not got any dates for our return but we have done quite a lot of work around it. It is a matter of making sure that when we do come back, we do it correctly.”

Hodge Lifetime says it is looking to increase its equity-release presence. While it did not pull out of the sector, Hodge Lifetime “refocused” on pension annuities in June and reduced its equity-release lending levels by half.

National sales manager Jon Tweed says: “The intention is to increase lending levels. The only product we are not offering is flexible drawdown because we did not see how that would fit in with our funding. But we will look at new products over the next 12 to 18 months.”

New Life Mortgages says it is planning to launch a home reversion product. Sales and marketing director Peter Turley says: “It is highly likely that we will enter the home reversion market some time this year. We are discussing funding.”

Prudential, Northern Rock and Coventry Building Society all suspended new equity release lending last year and have no plans to return in the near fut-ure. Saffron Building Society, which pulled out of new lending last year, says its position is “under continuous review”.

LaterLiving equity release planner Simon Chalk says: “We will see more providers entering the market in the next year. Some will be coming back and some will be new entrants.”



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