Research conducted by the Equity Release Solicitors Alliance (ERSA) has found that the percentage of people considering equity release has almost doubled compared with 12 months ago. UKwide research found that the percentage of people qualified for equity release and considering it has increased – from 20% to 38%. This represents an increase of 90% and it fits in with the industry body SHIP (Safe Home Income Plans) reporting third quarter advances of £206.2m – an increase of 12% from the previous quarter. Solicitors Caesar and Howie are ERSA members and Managing Partner, David Borrowman comments “These figures reflect what we are finding ourselves. Both awareness of these products and demand for them seems to be on the increase and our Senior Issues team is working flat out to get money through for clients. It was not always like this though and I think the current climate for pensioners – where finances just get more and more difficult – is the main driver of this increase. If you are sitting with a lot of equity in your home, it doesn’t seem sensible to be short of money or deny yourself a good lifestyle in retirement, when unlocking some of the capital in the house could help so much. We expect the sales of these products to just keep increasing actually”. Equity Release products are now regulated by the Financial Services Authority and are generally sold through specialist brokers mostly using specialist solicitors for the legal work involved. Caesar and Howie are the only Scottish members of the Equity Release Solicitors Alliance.