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NU says increased awareness has boosted equity release

Norwich Union increased its equity-release business by a third in the first half of this year as elderly homeowners unlocked £313m from their homes.

The figures, compiled by Safe Home Income Plans, compare with £235m released in the first six months of 2001. NU lent £218m in mortgage schemes and £95m in the newer reversion-based schemes.

NU says the figures reflect increased awareness of how equity release can be used to fund long-term care or as part of inheritance tax planning.

Equity release head of marketing propositions Paul Stokes says: “Once they make the major decision to go ahead with it, they are delighted with the benefits it provides. It can give them financial peace of mind later in life and help them maintain their standard of living at a stage when they have more time to enjoy it.

“We have driven this market growth through product innovation and we believe that there is still huge scope for expansion.”

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