Over £1bn of equity will be released from homes this year, according to the Key Retirement Solutions UK equity-release monitor report.
The value of equity-release plans rose by 7 per cent to £289m in the second quarter of this year, from £270m in Q1. The total value of plans sold in the first half is £559m. KRS forecasts that equity release will hit £1.15bn by the end of the year.
Equity-release business has been growing strongly across the North. In the North-west, new equity-release plans grew by 34 per cent to £65m compared with the second half of 2003 and in the North, business rose by 31 per cent to £16m. In the South-east, sales were down by 24 per cent to £152m and there was a decline of 23 per cent in the South-west to £82m.
The report says this is due to the steady increase in house prices in the North and slow declines in house prices in the South.
KRS chief executive Colin Taylor says: “The 7 per cent increase in equity-release business in the second quarter of this year over the first quarter suggests that suppliers are more advanced in their preparations for regulation than many industry figures believe and are once more seriously looking to attract new business.”