Later-life lending is on the up and many mortgage brokers are considering studying to get their Certificate in Equity Release (CeRER). Jade Parkington looks at why equity release is in such demand and how you can upskill in as little as six months.
Equity release enables homeowners aged over 55 – with a property worth £70,000 or more – access to money that’s tied up in their home. It’s a booming market and it’s not difficult to see why.
Increasing demand for equity release
The UK has an ageing population, with 64% of owned households owned by a person aged over 65 according to Age UK. At the same time, many people are suffering from a shortfall in their pension provision.
After a lifetime of saving, the average pension pot is only £61,897 giving an average income of around £2,500 a year. Combine this with the state pension of £168.60 a week – or £8,767 a year – and you’ll fall short of the minimum wage. For most, that’s not enough to live on.
In the three months from July to September 2019, the number of UK homeowners aged 55 or over who unlocked wealth from their properties rose by 8%. That’s according to a report from the Equity Release Council published in the last week of October.
That figure amounts to an average of £11 million each day over the summer months – an increase from £911m in Q2 of 2019 to £988m in Q3.
So, it looks like property is going to play a large part in funding later life in the future the way that a pension has traditionally in the past.
Tapping into the equity release market
At the same time, consumers are facing a baffling array of products and services, with new products coming to market all the time. This brings new challenges to advisers.
Advising on mortgage products has always involved fully understanding the needs of individual customers. But older customers have specific requirements, different desires and are at greater risk of unexpected disruptions in their lives, such as sickness and bereavement.
In short, the equity release market requires specialist knowledge. As a mortgage adviser you need to know what’s appropriate for the different stages of later life – as well as the needs of each individual.
The good news is that if you already hold a CeMAP qualification, you can upskill by studying the Certificate in Equity Release (CeRER). You can do this as part of your continued professional development and in as little as six months.
Find out more about our CeRER qualification