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Published: 05/04/2017
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The equity release market is booming. It had a record 2016 and is on course for an even better 2017, with growing numbers of homeowners benefiting from their rising property wealth. However, if you're thinking of taking the plunge, it isn't always easy to know where to start – that's why we're here to help!

Here at Moneyfacts we've just completed our annual assessment of the equity release market and awarded our coveted Star Ratings accordingly, which means that, if you're on the lookout for a new deal, heading to one of our ratings winners could be a great place to start.

Seal of approval

The Moneyfacts Equity Release Star Ratings are based on the weighting of specific features, outside of headline rates and fees, which are likely to be the most relevant to those looking to access cash tied up in their home. Our extensive analysis of these products means the results can be trusted to help you find the best option – the Star Ratings can help you choose, with confidence, the equity release product that best suits your needs in terms of flexibility, accessibility and ongoing quality, offering an independent seal of approval.

"Equity release has become the fastest growing segment of the mortgage market, reporting record lending volumes in 2016," said Richard Eagling, editor of Investment Life & Pensions. "Providers have responded to the greater demand from elderly homeowners looking to unlock cash from their homes by offering a more diverse range of products and options than ever before.

"The annual Moneyfacts Equity Release Star Ratings provide consumers with a valuable insight into the quality of the equity release features on offer, outside of the products' costs."

Make the most of your housing wealth

A full list of the categories and companies that have been awarded a Moneyfacts Equity Release Star Rating of four or five can be seen below – any one of them could be the ideal solution to your later life borrowing needs, allowing you to make the most of your housing wealth and release valuable cash without needing to downsize.

It isn't difficult to see why the sector is becoming so popular. Research from the Equity Release Council shows that lifetime mortgages have become the fastest-growing segment of the mortgage market, with a total of 27,534 new plans agreed in 2016 – an increase of 22% over the year. Those borrowers could be benefiting from some fantastic rates, too, with the average equity release rate falling by 0.51% between July 2016 and January 2017, and by 0.75% over the year, to stand at 5.45%.

"The sector is becoming increasingly mainstream amid growing appetite, reflected by the fact that lifetime products were the fastest growing segment of the mortgage market last year," said Nigel Waterson of The Council. "Greater flexibilities and growing competition mean the equity release product range continues to evolve.

"Older homeowners are increasingly realising that there are a number of potential uses for their housing wealth beyond supplementing their retirement income, including re-investing in their homes and helping younger family members by providing a living inheritance. "

If you think you could benefit from equity release and the potential it could offer, start the process by checking out our ratings winners below, and contact our no obligation equity release service to see if it could be an option for you.

Equity Release - Lifetime Mortgages
5 Stars 4 Stars
  • Enhanced Lifestyle Flexible Option Lifetime Mortgage
  • Lifestyle Flexible Option Lifetime Mortgage
  • Enhanced Lifestyle Lump Sum Max Lifetime Mortgage

Hodge Lifetime
  • Flexible Lifetime Mortgage

  • Lump Sum Plus Enhanced Lifetime Mortgage
  • Lump Sum Plus Lifetime Mortgage
  • Drawdown Lifetime Mortgage

Legal & General Home Finance
  • Flexible Lifetime Mortgage / Flexible Plus Lifetime Mortgage
  • Flexible Max Lifetime Mortgage / Flexible Max Plus Lifetime Mortgage
  • Premier Flexible Lifetime Mortgage

  • Flexible Lifetime Mortgage

More 2 Life Ltd.
  • Tailored Choice
  • Capital Choice

  • Voluntary Payment Lifetime Mortgage
  • Interest Payment Lifetime Mortgage
  • Interest Roll-up Lifetime Mortgage

Pure Retirement
  • Drawdown Plan
  • Max Drawdown Plan
  • Max Plus Drawdown Plan

Retirement Advantage
  • Interest Select Gold/Platinum Lifetime Mortgage
  • Voluntary Select Gold Lifetime Mortgage
  • Lump Sum Gold Lifetime Mortgage
  • Lifestyle Lump Sum Max Lifetime Mortgage

Hodge Lifetime
  • Fixed Rate Retirement Mortgage (Interest only)
  • Lifetime Mortgage Max
  • Lifetime Mortgage Plus
  • Lifetime Mortgage
  • Lump Sum Lifetime Mortgage
  • Indexed Lifetime Mortgage
  • Indexed Lifetime Mortgage Plus

  • Lump Sum Lifetime Mortgage+

Information is correct as of the date of publication (shown at the top of this article). Any products featured may be withdrawn by their provider or changed at any time. Links to third parties on this page are paid for by the third party. You can find out more about the individual products by visiting their site. will receive a small payment if you use their services after you click through to their site. All information is subject to change without notice. Please check all terms before making any decisions. This information is intended solely to provide guidance and is not financial advice. Moneyfacts will not be liable for any loss arising from your use or reliance on this information. If you are in any doubt, Moneyfacts recommends you obtain independent financial advice.

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