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Ship reveals 2005 equity release figures

Ship has revealed an increase in home reversion business but a softening of lifetime mortgage sales.

Figures released today by the body show the total value of new business written in Q4 2005 was 297.6m, contributing to a total new business figure of 1.1bn for the hole of 2005.

The value of written lifetime mortgage business increased marginally by 3% from 276.3m in Q3 2005, compared to 284.2m in the fourth quarter.

But total lifetime mortgage business, at 1.05bn, was slightly down on the 1.2bn in 2004. Home reversions business accounted for 54.6m worth of new business in 2005, up 35% year on year from 2004.

Ship chairman Jon King says: While lifetime mortgages business has softened, the home reversion business is going from strength to strength. The birth of flexible drawdown plans is also a significant evolution in the equity release industry.

SHIPs fourth quarter figures and end of year results are ultimately positive with a clear increase in home reversion sales.

However, it is vital to address the shortage of specialist IFAs advising on equity release, which we believe is the key restriction to stronger growth in the sector.

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