View from Poland: Equity release breaks records of popularity in the UK
The long-term, tailored financing of equity release in the UK has been the cornerstone of the development of an attractive and safe product, according to Robert Majkowski, CEO of Fundusz Hipoteczny DOM in Poland, and as the idea emerged to transfer similar financing to other European markets this should increase the attractiveness of the product to elderly homeowners in Poland, among other countries.
In the UK, 12,485 people released equity from their homes in the second quarter of 2022, according to the latest data published by the Equity Release Council, a UK trade body bringing together entities operating in the lifetime (or reverse) mortgage market in the country (1). The number of new contracts concluded in the second quarter of 2022 increased by 26%, as compared to the same period of 2021. This means that in the UK, on average, 205 new lifetime mortgage contracts are signed every working day.
The UK equity release market has been growing for over 30 years, and the number of service providers operating in the industry, and the number of different solutions offered to elderly homeowners, is very large. From just April to June this year, more than 12,000 clients signed new contracts, which allowed people to free up £1.6bn which had been ‘frozen’ in real estate (2).
“The fact that hundreds of homeowners are now choosing to release equity each day, based on detailed financial and legal advice, is significant progress from the days when the market was considered an under-developed niche rather than the mainstream option it has become”, says David Burrowes, Chairman of the Equity Release Council. He explains that cash benefits from an equity release product allow elderly homeowners to stabilise their financial situation and often pay off their debts. A large number of retirees, thanks to the funds obtained, wish to support their loved ones financially.
It is worth recalling that the United Kingdom, along with the USA and Australia, is one of the most developed equity markets in the world. The Ernst & Young and the European Pensions and Property Asset Release Group (EPPARG) report “Global Equity Release Roundtable 2020” shows that in the UK the service is already available to people aged 55+, and the most common financial solution is a lifetime mortgage. According to an analysis published in this report, in the UK the annual volume will exceed $13 billion within 10 years, which means the British will be releasing – in just one year – equity of this value (3).
“In the most developed countries, equity release products have been offered for over thirty years, but the dynamic development began in the year 2002. Access to adequate, long-term financing, increased standards of service provision and the reputation of service providers played a key role in this process. The Polish market, if we look at it through the global prism, is still young, fledgling, waiting and even demanding legal regulations. The lack of an appropriate government act that comprehensively covers the entire market and all entities operating on it is one of the “brakes” blocking the development of the industry”, says Robert Majkowski, CEO of Fundusz Hipoteczny DOM, who is also a member of the EPPARG, the organization bringing together equity release providers across Europe.
“In the UK, long-term, tailored financing has for years been the cornerstone of the development of an attractive and safe product for seniors. After some time, the idea emerged to transfer similar financing, which successfully stimulated the development of the British industry, to other European markets. This is what is happening and should increase the attractiveness of the product offered, among others, to Polish seniors,” sums up Majkowski.
(1) Data for the second quarter of 2022 concerning the reverse mortgage market in Great Britain, Equity Release Council. Details: https://www.equityreleasecouncil.com/news/q2-2022-equity-release-market-statistics/
(3) Report “Global Equity Release Roundtable 2020”, prepared by EY and EPPARG, published on 28/01/2021. Link: https://epparg.org/news/global-equity-release-market-forecast-to-more-than-treble-by-2031/