According to recent research undertaken by Bower Retirement Services, a company providing advice to those considering equity release, the UK market needs to double the current number of equity release advisers available.
Statistics indicate there are around 800 advisers who are qualified in this sector at present. The number of customers who opted for equity release in the final three months’ of 2014 amounted to 5,700. The company who produced the research took the current rate of growth seen in this market and extrapolated that over the next five years. If growth is seen to increase in this way it would mean there could be more than 11,000 customers per quarter by the time we reach 2019. This would be around double the current number the market is seeing.
Putting a strain on adviser numbers
It is unknown whether the current number of advisers are working flat out to cope with the number of people looking into equity release as a financial option. However if this is the case it is clear that a doubling of the number of qualified advisers would be needed in order to cope with a doubling in the number of interested customers.
2015 is already set to surpass last year
We have already seen encouraging signs that 2015 is set to break the records we saw at the end of 2014. As such there is the potential for the market to grow at an even faster rate than has been mooted here.
Regardless, it looks very unlikely that the market would level off now that many people are seeing equity release as a good way to unlock more cash to see them through their twilight years. There is every expectation that this will be an even better year and it could be the first of many – but surely only if the number of qualified advisers is able to keep up with demand.
This does point to a potentially good career choice for anyone who is considering a change of career, or who already has a background in finance and is looking to move to a new specialism. The findings of the research were supported by the feelings of those who are already working as advisers. They believe there will be a massive amount of growth in this market in the coming months and years.
Clearly they are braced to see a lot of customers in the near future, and this is supported by the change in confidence from advisers from last year to this year. In 2014 60% were confident they would see a rise in the market in the next six months – something that did come to pass. Recently they were asked the same question again, and this time 70% of them were confident there would be an increase in the market. It seems we do indeed need more advisers in the near future if the market is to keep up with the number of people interested in learning more.