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There is good news for homeowners looking to use some of the equity that is locked in their home, as the value of equity release increased by £10 billion in the last three months of 2017, reaching a total of £375 billion. This means that there is a lot of potential wealth available to those over 55, if they can and want to access it.
That said, the value of the equity release market did see a slight fall compared with the third quarter of 2017, of 0.01% or £55 million, due mainly to a slowdown in house price growth. This is according to data from Retirement Advantage, with its head of Product and Marketing, Alice Watson, stating: "Despite the dip in house values at the end of 2017, the total potential value of UK equity release is up by nearly a fifth compared with its pre-crash peak in 2007."
So, while there is some reason for caution if house prices continue to grow more slowly or even stall, there is still plenty of benefit to be found in equity release – and this goes for buy-to-let investors as well.
Additional figures show that the value of UK buy-to-let properties increased as well in 2017, reaching a total of £46.8 billion in the last quarter of 2017, compared with £45.5 billion a year earlier. It even increased by £100 million (0.2%) compared with the previous quarter.
"For many, their property is the most valuable asset they own and typically worth far more than their savings," said Alice. "Equity release will not be suitable for everyone, but savers who think holistically and discuss property alongside other assets with their financial advisers are best placed to live the retirement they want."
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