0 Record breaking start to year for equity release By The Bower Team / In Equity Release According to the Equity Release Council’s latest data, the first quarter of 2016 saw homeowners unlock a record breaking amount of money from their homes. Their latest figures show that: £393.3m was unlocked in the first three months of 2016 – the highest Q1 lending levels on record The total value of equity release lending for Q1 grew by 21% on a year-on-year basis 5,175 new equity release plans were taken out in the first quarter of this year 67% of plans taken were drawdown – remaining the most popular choice The figures are particularly poignant as they have reached record breaking levels on what marks the 25th anniversary of the first industry standards being developed for equity release. Over the course of the first quarter of this year, 5,175 new equity release plans were taken out – an increase of 6 per cent from 4,880 in Q1 2015. This was also the first time the number of new plans topped the 5,000 mark in a Q1 since 2009. The £393m unlocked by homeowners in January, February and March this year is the highest amount ever recorded. The figures show that more people are making more use of their growing property wealth to supplement their income, make home and garden improvements, take a dream holiday or perhaps help out their loved ones financially. Drawdown popularity continues to grow The market share of drawdown lifetime mortgages has increased again year-on-year, remaining the most popular equity release product. There were 3,450 drawdown loans agreed in Q1 2016 (67 per cent of all plans sold), up 9 per cent on the same period in 2015. The value of lump sum mortgages accounted for 40 per cent of total lending in the first quarter. For homeowners considering a lifetime mortgage, it is always recommended to seek the guidance of an independent specialist in retirement lending before making a decision. Your Bower specialist will take the time to explain everything thoroughly, including how equity release will reduce the value of your estate and how it may affect your entitlement to some state benefits. We put your needs first, so if we do not think equity release is the best option for you at this time, we will be able to tell you what alternatives you may wish to consider. Speak to us today to arrange your free, no-obligation initial consultation on 0800 411 8668.