Lifetime mortgages increasing in popularity

07 February 2005
More and more people are turning to lifetime mortgages to fund their retirement, the Council of Mortgage Lenders has found.

Last year there were 25 times more lifetime mortgages than there were a decade ago.

In the second half of 2004 alone over 15,000 lifetime mortgages, valued at £693 million, were leant, bringing the number of outstanding lifetime mortgages to 83,300 and their total value to just under £4 billion.

But this could be just the tip of the iceberg as the housing equity held by the UK's over-65 population is worth around £1.1 billion, the Institute of Actuaries found recently, and the Council of Mortgage Lenders believes that this will be increasingly tapped into.

Jackie Bennett, CML senior policy adviser, said: "Equity release lending grew by ten per cent in 2004. This followed an exceptional 70 per cent growth rate in 2003.

"However, with such a huge pool of untapped housing wealth among older home-owners, many of whom may be disappointed with their pension provision, it is clear that there is a potentially huge market for responsible lifetime mortgage lending.

"With the comfort of mortgage regulation, both lenders and consumers may now have the reassurance they need to consider making more use of equity release."

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