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SHIP says BoE statistics have been misread

Equity release trade body Safe Home Income Plans has issued a statement in order to clarify statistics published by the Bank of England last week.

The trade body points out that these statistics are not for bespoke equity release products but for all remortgages for purposes other than a new house purchase.

The statistics reported by the BoE show a huge fall of 64 per cent in the year on year amount of money being taken from equity held in property through remortgaging for purposes other than purchase of another property.

It says that this does not apply to volumes in the bespoke equity release market.

The trade body says product sales did fall in quarter one this year but by only 13 per cent.

The statement says: “Whilst clearly the statistics reported by the Bank of England are newsworthy, reflecting another sign of the extent to which the credit crisis has impacted on the UK, it is important that these numbers are understood for what they are.”

SHIP director general Andrea Rozario says: “Contrary to the first glance interpretations of the Bank of England’s statistics published this week, we believe that the bespoke Equity Release market is relatively well positioned compared with the mainstream mortgage market.

“Longer term the outlook is positive as a the result of the fundamental drivers of Equity Release demand being very strong – including the UK’s ageing population, declining pension contributions and significant personal wealth being held in equity in property. These factors, combined with the extent to which the current crisis in the mainstream mortgage market will push the lending industry to seek alternative source of business makes us confident the Equity Release market is well positioned for the future.”

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