What Is New in the Equity Release Industry in 2024?

Industry blogs, the websites of leading equity release providers, and financial news sections are excellent sources for the latest developments, regulatory changes, and innovations in equity release products. Staying informed helps you understand market dynamics.
  • Last Updated: 14 May 2024
  • Fact Checked Fact Checked
  • Our team recently fact checked this article for accuracy. However, things do change, so please do your own research.

Contributors:

Francis Hui
Can I Still Get a Lifetime Mortgage From Stonehaven? What Has Happened to Mortgage Express? We Have the Answers Here.
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Key Takeaways
  • The latest trends in the UK equity release industry point towards the growing popularity of lifetime mortgages and more flexible repayment options, with predicted continuous growth in the market due to an ageing population and rising consumer confidence.
  • New regulations enhance consumer protection with ‘no-negative equity’ guarantees and stricter advice requirements, and the introduction of innovative products like interest-only lifetime mortgages and voluntary repayment schemes offers more flexibility to consumers.
  • Brexit introduces uncertainties affecting interest rates and property values, with long-term impacts yet to be seen.

Have you stayed on top of all updates in the equity release industry? 

Do not worry, we are here to help you keep up with all the equity release industry changes you need to know about.

Do not miss out on enormous interest rate cuts because your equity release lender is not considering plan changes anymore.

In This Article, You Will Discover:

    At Every Investor, we are committed to helping you navigate the ever-changing world of equity release.

    Read on to stay informed on all the latest equity release industry updates.

    Who Offers the Lowest Rates in 2024?

    Discover the Lowest Rates & Save

    Request a FREE call back & discover:

    • Who offers the LOWEST rates available on the market.
    • Who offers the HIGHEST release amount.
    • If you qualify for equity release.
    Equity Release Industry News

    What Does Equity Release Really Mean for Today’s Retirees?

    Equity release provides retirees with a financial strategy to access their property’s value without needing to sell.

    What Exactly Does Equity Release Mean for Retirees?

    At its core, equity release is a means for individuals over 55 to unlock the financial value of their property.

    It offers a way to access the wealth tied up in your home, either as a single payment or as ongoing income.

    Unique to this scheme are options like lifetime mortgages, where you retain home ownership, and home reversion plans, where you sell a part of your home.

    These choices provide flexibility, catering to diverse needs like supplementing pensions or covering unexpected expenses in later life.

    Learn More: Equity Release News

    What Are the Benefits and Risks of Equity Release for Retirees?

    Equity release offers retirees a means to access the wealth tied up in their homes without the need to move.

    Benefits include receiving a lump sum or supplemental income to cover living expenses, home improvements, or even assist family members financially. It provides financial flexibility in retirement when income may be limited.

    However, risks involve the erosion of the property’s value for inheritance, compounding interest rates that can quickly increase the debt over time, and potential impacts on eligibility for means-tested benefits.

    Borrowers must consider these factors carefully, weighing the immediate financial relief against long-term financial health and estate planning implications.

    Who Can Access Equity Release in Key UK Locations?

    Eligibility for equity release in areas like Norwich and Bradford typically requires homeowners to be over 55 and own a property.

    Who Is Eligible for Equity Release in Norwich and Bradford?

    Eligibility for equity release in Norwich, Bradford, and across the UK typically requires homeowners to be over a certain age, often 55 or older.

    The property must be of a certain value, generally at least £70,000, and be the main residence of the applicant.

    Criteria can vary between lenders, with some requiring the property to be in a good state of repair and located in an area not subject to flooding or other environmental risks.

    Residents of Norwich and Bradford considering equity release should consult with a specialist adviser to understand specific local market conditions and eligibility requirements.

    Read More: Canada Life Equity Release

    What Are the Latest Equity Release Developments in Bradford and Norwich?

    The UK equity release industry has seen significant changes in 2021.

    The Equity Release Council reports a dynamic adjustment in lender attitudes and product offerings, largely driven by a surge in demand post-lockdown.

    Lenders are now offering more flexible options, including downsizing protection and fixed early repayment charges.

    Furthermore, interest rates for equity release are at an all-time low, making it an attractive option for homeowners.

    The industry now offers green equity release products, allowing homeowners to access funds to make their homes more energy efficient.

    Demonstrating the industry’s commitment to sustainable living and climate change mitigation.

    How Does the Financial Aspect of Equity Release Work?

    Equity release involves borrowing against your home’s value, affecting interest rates, costs, and the remaining equity.

    How Do Interest Rates and Costs Affect Your Equity Release Plan?

    Interest rates and costs play a pivotal role in shaping the equity release plan’s overall financial impact.

    Interest rates for equity release are typically higher than standard mortgages and can be fixed or variable, with the interest compounding over the life of the loan.

    This compounding effect means the amount owed can grow significantly over time, reducing the equity left in the home.

    Additional costs may include arrangement fees, legal fees, and valuation fees, further eroding the equity.

    Prospective borrowers should seek independent advice to fully understand how interest rates and costs affect the total amount repayable and the remaining equity in their property.

    Lifetime Mortgages vs. Home Reversion: Which Equity Release Scheme Is Right for You?

    Lifetime mortgages and home reversion plans are two principal types of equity release schemes.

    A lifetime mortgage allows homeowners to borrow money against the value of their home, with the loan plus interest repaid when the home is sold, typically when the homeowner dies or moves into long-term care.

    In contrast, home reversion involves selling a part or all of the home to a reversion company in exchange for a lump sum or regular payments, while retaining the right to live in the property rent-free.

    The choice between the two depends on individual circumstances, including financial needs, inheritance plans, and comfort with debt.

    Lifetime mortgages offer more flexibility and are more popular, but home reversion can provide a higher cash sum for those willing to sell a portion of their property’s ownership.

    What’s the Current State of Key Equity Release Providers?

    Leading providers like Stonehaven and Retirement Advantage continue to evolve, offering diverse plans to meet retirees’ needs.

    Are Stonehaven Equity Release and Retirement Advantage Still Operating?

    Stonehaven still exists in name as a registered entity under Canada Life Home Finance, but you are not likely to find Retirement Advantage listed anywhere. 

    The short version?

    Stonehaven merged with annuity provider MGM Advantage in 2014, and was renamed Retirement Advantage in 20151

    Retirement Advantage was acquired by Canada Life in January 20182, and in October of the same year, the Retirement Advantage Equity Release division became Canada Life Home Finance. 

    Do I need to do anything?

    Probably not. Canada Life continues to offer equity release loans, so if you are an existing Stonehaven or Retirement Advantage client, you should be able to contact Canada Life if you would like to release more equity or switch to a different plan.

    Are Stonehaven Lifetime Mortgage and Retirement Advantage Equity Release FCA-Authorised?

    Stonehaven is authorised and regulated in the UK by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) under reference number 435892.

    How Can I Reach Canada Life for Equity Release Inquiries?

    If you need to contact Canada Life to make an enquiry or a complaint, you can use the following details:

    Address:

    Canada Life Home Finance, Canada Life Place, Potters Bar, Hertfordshire, EN6 5BA, UK

    Telephone number:

    • +44 (0) 345 606 0708

    Email:

    customer.services@canadalife.co.uk

    Website:

    www.canadalife.co.uk

    What Became of Northern Rock Equity Release and Papilio?

    Northern Rock was the first great casualty of the 2008 banking crisis5, and was nationalised after it experienced a negative run the likes of which had not been seen in 150 years.

    The short version:

    Northern Rock’s equity release portfolio was subsequently sold to JP Morgan Chase in 20086. Northern Rock administered these loans until 2011, at which point the titles were transferred to JP Morgan Chase. 

    Under JP Morgan Chase, the old Northern Rock equity release loans have been administered by Papilio UK Equity Release Mortgages.

    Do I need to do anything?

    If your Northern Rock equity release mortgage is being administrated by Papilio, you should probably switch to a different provider as soon as possible.

    As always, we recommend you speak to an independent financial adviser or broker before making any decisions regarding your equity release mortgage.

    Why switch?

    Papilio does not allow any further lending on existing equity release loans, which means you will not be able to access any more equity — even if your original agreement allowed further loans!

    You may also be able to access a much lower interest rate, as equity release rates have dropped significantly in recent years. 

    Anything else?

    Your original Northern Rock equity release plan may not have permitted any interest repayments, which means your interest will be rolling up at a significant rate, increasing the total amount you owe. 

    You could save considerably by switching to a plan with a lower rate, or a plan that allows interest repayments.

    Is Mortgage Express Still Active in the Equity Release Sector?

    No, Mortgage Express does not exist anymore, and their equity release loans have been taken over. 

    The short version?

    When Bradford & Bingley were nationalised during the financial crisis of 20087, Mortgage Express went with them. In 2018, £860mln of Bradford & Bingley and Mortgage Express equity release loans were sold to Rothesay Life Plc8

    Some Mortgage Express equity release loans were transferred to Pure Retirement in 2020.

    Do I need to do anything?

    If you took out equity release from Mortgage Express and have not moved to another equity release lender yet, you may want to consider switching to a different provider if possible.

    As always, we recommend you speak to an independent financial adviser before making any decisions regarding your equity release mortgage.

    Why switch?

    You may also be able to access a much lower interest rate, as equity release rates have dropped significantly in recent years. 

    Does Mortgage Express Adhere to FCA Regulations in Equity Release?

    Yes, Mortgage Express is authorised and regulated in the UK by the FCA. Their reference number is 305572.

    How to Contact Mortgage Express for Equity Release Services?

    You can contact Bradford & Bingley by using the following details:

    Address:

    The Waterfront, Salts Mill Road, Shipley, West Yorkshire, BD17 7EZ, UK

    Navigating Regulatory Waters: Is Your Equity Release Plan Secure?

    Regulatory bodies ensure equity release schemes are safe, protecting homeowners through rigorous standards and oversight.

    Is SHIP Still Relevant in Today’s Equity Release Market?

    SHIP still exists, but it is called the Equity Release Council (ERC)3 now and it has expanded it’s functions extensively.

    The short version:

    Safe Home Income Plans (SHIP) was set up in 1991 to regulate equity release providers and ensure industry best practices were adhered to when clients were approved for equity release. 

    In 2012, SHIP relaunched as the Equity Release Council, which immediately had a larger remit, as the rebranded ERC now oversees “financial advisers, surveyors, solicitors, intermediaries and other industry professionals” in addition to equity release providers.

    Do I need to do anything?

    All you need to do is make sure any equity release products you are considering are approved by the Equity Release Council (ERC). 

    The same goes for any equity release advisers and solicitors you may decide to consult. You can check the credentials of registered equity release providers and professionals on the Equity Release Council’s online database4.

    Is Northern Rock Equity Release Under FCA Regulation?

    No, Northern Rock and Papilio are no longer authorised and regulated in the UK by the FCA and / or PRA, but JP Morgan Chase, who owns Northern Rock’s equity release portfolio, is registered.

    Their FCA reference number is 124491.

    What Are the Contact Details for Papilio Equity Release?

    You can contact Papilio by using the details of their relevant legal entity, Intertrust Corporate Services Ltd:

    Address:

    1, Bartholomew Lane, London, UK, EC2N 2AX

    What Has Become of Norwich Union Equity Release?

    No, Norwich Union does not exist under that name anymore.

    The short version?

    In 2000, Norwich Union merged with CGU to form CGNU, which eventually rebranded as Aviva in 20099.

    Do I need to do anything?

    No, you do not need to do anything. Aviva continues to offer equity release plans, which means you may be able to release more equity if you would like. 

    Is Aviva Authorized by FCA for Equity Release Services?

    Yes, Aviva is authorised and regulated in the UK by the FCA.

    Their reference number is 310433.

    How to Get in Touch With Aviva for Equity Release?

    You can contact Aviva by using the following details:

    Address:

    Wellington Row, York, North Yorkshire, YO90 1WR, UK

    Email:

    ukifca@aviva.com

    Website:

    www.aviva.co.uk

    What Are the Alternatives to Equity Release for Accessing Retirement Funds?

    Alternatives to equity release for accessing retirement funds include downsizing to a smaller property, utilizing savings or investments, or taking advantage of state benefits and pension schemes.

    Downsizing can free up significant capital, often without the need for taking on debt. Personal or workplace pensions, ISAs, and other investments can provide income or lump sums.

    Additionally, government schemes such as Pension Credit and other benefits might offer financial support without affecting homeownership.

    These alternatives can provide financial relief without the long-term implications of equity release, making them worth considering for those seeking to fund their retirement.

    How to Seek Advice and Make Informed Decisions in Equity Release?

    Consulting with accredited advisers and contacting the Equity Release Council are vital steps for informed equity release decisions.

    How Should I Contact the Equity Release Council for Advice?

    If you would like to contact the Equity Release Council in order to lodge a query or make a complaint, you can fill in the contact form on their website, or reach them by using the following details:

    Address:

    Equity Release Council, The Old Rectory, Church Lane, Thornby, NN6 8SN

    Telephone number: 

    0300 012 0239

    Website: 

    https://www.equityreleasecouncil.com/contact/

    Equity Release FAQs for Retirees

    Frequently asked questions offer crucial insights, helping retirees navigate the complexities of equity release schemes.

    What Are the Emerging Trends in UK's Equity Release Sector?

    How Recent Regulations Are Shaping the Equity Release Market?

    What's New in UK Equity Release Products for 2024?

    The Impact of Brexit on the UK Equity Release Industry: What to Know?

    What Are the Forecasts for the Equity Release Industry in the Coming Years?

    Who Is the New Operator of Stonehaven Equity Release?

    What Company Has Taken Over Northern Rock Equity Release?

    The Successor of Norwich Union Equity Release: Who Are They?

    Understanding SHIP Certificates in Equity Release: What Are They?

    In Conclusion

    If your equity release or bank loan has been transferred or sold to a different company, you may want to find out whether you can switch to a new plan.

    Speak to a financial adviser or broker to find out what your options are, and be sure to stay informed on equity release industry updates.

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