Advisers and their customers now have over 314 equity release plan options – an increase of more than 300% from just 73 plans at the end of 2016, according to new analysis from equity release referral service Key Partnerships.
The growth in the number of options has accelerated this year rising by 95% from 161 to 314 at the start of this month.
In addition to an uplift in the number of equity release plans on the market, there has also been a significant increase in the number of features available. The number of plans allowing interest payments have grown substantially from just 10 at the start of the year to 81 while lending on sheltered or age-restricted properties has also become more readily available with 164 plans now offering it compared with just 48 in January.
The number of plans offering downsizing protection has more than doubled.
Jason Ruse, head of Key Partnerships, said: “While lending in 2019 has been subdued, product innovation has not and advisers now have almost double the number of products to choose from and the widest range of features ever seen in the market.
“Guided by their advisers, consumers can now choose the product which ideally fits their circumstances – choosing to repay interest, make one off capital payments or protect their family’s inheritance as they see fit.
“This is great news for customers, but can be hugely challenging for advisers who do not regularly advise on equity release as thus far in 2019, we have seen a new product in the market roughly every 48 hours.
“Helping valued customers to make the right choices around their housing equity is at the forefront of all advisers’ minds and working with a specialist referral service removes all the regulatory and compliance worries while enabling them to maintain a valuable client relationship.”