At the Financial Services Expo (FSE) Glasgow yesterday, Key Retirement’s Dean Mirfin outlined how the equity release market is seeing a decrease in drawdown take-up, whilst at the same time the number of enhanced lifetime mortgages has grown.
Mirfin said the take-up of enhanced lifetime mortgages had grown significantly in the wake of the ‘interest-only time bomb’.
“We have seen a noticeable increase in the number of enhanced lifetime mortgages being written, especially in terms of paying off interest-only mortgages,” he said. “With these products higher LTVs are available which can make all the difference between the client getting the mortgage or not.”
Mirfin urged advisers to ensure their potential lifetime mortgage clients told the truth about their medical history and their current situation. “Advisers should explain to clients why being honest about their health is not a bad thing as it could get them access to the enhanced terms.”
Mirfin outlined how the number of 60-64 and 65-69 year olds taking out lifetime mortgages had grown in recent years predominantly to pay off the capital left after their interest-only mortgage had finished. He suggested this was a captive market for those advisers willing to provide equity release advice or to refer onwards.
“10,000 borrowers each year, over the next three years, are coming to the end of their interest-only terms with shortfalls,” he said. “5,000 of those will have no repayment vehicle at all. Once you start to get to grips with equity release, you will start to see more customers like them.”
He also pointed out that there is a growing remortgage market in the lifetime sector. “The remortgage market is pretty vibrant,” he said. “For example, the old Northern Rock book is now completely ERC-free and they should be ready to remortgage.”