"While the equity release market – as with other sectors – has had to work hard to weather the current pandemic, we have still seen significant product innovation and development."
On average, a new equity release product has launched every 28 hours so far in 2020, according to the latest analysis from Key Partnerships.
There are now over 525 whole of market plan options on the market, an increase of 510% from 2017 when there was just 86 plans available.
More recently, the number of options has also increased – rising from 315 at the end of 2019 to 525 at the end of August 2020 - or 210 new products in 244 days.
In addition to an uplift in the number of equity release plans on the market and features available, there has also been a significant decrease in the average interest rate, which has fallen from 4.6% in June 2018 to 4.05% last month - a 12% decrease.
The number of plans allowing interest payments has also grown substantially, from just 81 at the end of October 2019 to 186. The number of drawdown plans has also increased with 294 plans now offering it in comparison with just 90 in October last year. Additionally, the number of plans offering fixed early repayment charges has increased by 48% since October 2019.
Jason Ruse, business development director at Key Group, said: “While the equity release market – as with other sectors – has had to work hard to weather the current pandemic, we have still seen significant product innovation and development. Indeed, with more funders than ever active in the market, there is more choice and more competitive interest rates than ever which is great news for customers.
“That said, it is important to ensure that when customers do look for support around how to access their housing equity, they consider all their options and pick the right product for them. With a product being launched roughly every 28-hours thus far in 2020, this can be a real challenge for those advisers who do not specialise in this market so they may find that they are better able to serve their customers by referring them to a trusted equity release specialist like Key Partnerships.”