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Do you expect to see less or more second charge mortgage lenders in 2018?

Low equity release rates drive switching enquiries


Almost half of advisers (45%) have reported a rise in inquiries about switching plans from existing equity release customers, according to new research by Bower Retirement.

Average equity release rates have hit an all-time low of 5.63%, with some providers offering rates as low as 3.9%.

Nearly two out of five (39%) Bower advisers said more rate cuts were needed, while 67% wanted more lenders to launch into the market to increase competition.

Andrea Rozario, chief corporate officer at Bower Retirement, said: “Equity release customers are benefiting from a virtuous circle with the record growth attracting more lenders who are cutting rates to compete and win business.

“Existing customers can benefit too, but it is vital they get independent advice as any savings from lower rates need to be balanced against potential early redemption charges.

“Over the past few years, rates have steadily fallen, but lifetime mortgage rates are still being compared with mainstream mortgage rates, which is a challenge for the industry and advisers.” 

Just over a fifth (22%) of Bower’s advisers reported a substantial rise in the value of homes owned by customers, while 55% said property values have increased slightly in the past year.

Around a quarter of advisers said customers’ average property value is now more than £400,000.

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