30% of equity release advisers want product development to focus on interest-only mortgages – the same number who believe equity release rate cuts will drive demand, according to Bower Retirement Services’ adviser tracker research.
The survey indicates advisers are seeing more clients asking about help with interest-only issues; 15% of those questioned by the national advisory firm say they’ve seen a substantial rise in inquires in the past year.
Advisers estimate that on average 25% of the over-55s clients they see have outstanding interest-only mortgages compared with an average 30% of clients who have outstanding mortgages.
Data from the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) show the number of interest-only loans has dropped by a quarter in the past two years to 2.36 million with 1.9 million pure interest-only and 446,000 part and part.
Around 112,000 were paid off last year with another 335,000 switched to repayment. However, two-fifths of those switched from interest-only would not have been due for payment until 2028.
Andrea Rozario, chief corporate officer at Bower Retirement Services said: “The drop in the number of outstanding interest-only loans shows the success of efforts to ensure people who are at risk are aware of the problem and are taking action.
“However advisers are seeing increased inquiries from over-55s customers looking for help on dealing with interest-only issues and are realising they need to offer a range of solutions which includes equity release plans.
“Equity release plans which enable customers to pay interest are a logical solution for many and underline the need for continuing innovation in the industry as the demand is undeniable there.”