The value of the equity release market has fallen by 13% from £244.7 million in Q1 2009 to £213.4 million in Q1 2010,according to SHIP, the equity release provider trade body.
The total number of customers year-on-year has fallen by 7%. The percentage of sales through intermediaries has remained stable at the 79% mark.
Home reversion advances rose by 10% on Q4 2009 to £4.4 million, while drawdown mortgages remained the most popular form of equity release, claiming over half of the market share (55%) with £116.4 million worth of advances. Lumpsum mortgage sales were £92.6 million in the quarter. The distribution of equity release continued to be dominated by intermediaries, who accounted for 79% of all sales.
Total market advances fell by 8% in the first quarter of 2010 compared with Q4 2009 (£213.4 million in Q1 2010, £231.7 million in Q4 2009). SHIP says this was to be expected as a number of providers have withdrawn products from the market, either temporarily or permanently.
The total number of customers also fell, by 3.5% quarter on quarter from 4888 to 4716.
Andrea Rozario, director general of SHIP, said: “These figures show that despite the withdrawal of some big providers from the market the equity release market remains robust. The bad weather at the beginning of the year has also obviously had some impact on the first quarter results with conditions making business difficult but reports from members now show a very strong run rate.