Equity release broker Age Partnership has reported that clients have remained optimistic about their plans for the future.

The proportion of clients citing home improvements as their main reason for releasing equity only fluctuated slightly from 25.76% of Age Partnership’s overall completions in Q1, to 25.63% in Q2.

Meanwhile, the volume of clients releasing equity for holidays only dipped by 0.8% over the last quarter, when compared to the first three months of the year.

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Age Partnership’s stats also showed that the average interest rate secured across completions in Q2 dropped to 3.45% from 3.48% in Q1.

These rates fall way below the Q2 industry average of 4.45%.

As expected, there has been a reduction in the volume of overall completions during the last quarter, but the broker reported that this was likely a matter of delay, rather than regression in demand.

Steve Auckland (pictured), CEO of Age Partnership, said: “Like all brokers, we saw a substantial drop in completions as soon as lockdown started.

“Surveyors couldn’t complete valuations in home, and while some reverted to desk top valuations there was an understandable lag.

“However, during the same three month period we actually only saw a 12% decline in the volume of quotations that we provided.

“And interestingly, our June enquiry figures are now back to pre-lockdown levels. Demand is as strong as ever.

“We all had to adapt to new ways of working and that meant asking all of our 170 client facing colleagues to operate remotely in a matter of days.

“This included continuing to record all of our client interactions so that we could continue to provide our gold standard advice and deliver the best possible outcomes for our clients.

“We have tended to have an average release amount that is below the industry average as its imperative that clients only borrow what they really need.

“As clients rightly remained cautious during the last three months, the release amount dipped by 2.4% on Q1.

“However, I am delighted that we have been able to secure interest rates that were 1% below the market average due to us offering plans from the whole-of-market, not just our own products.

“It is testament to the development in the product ranges and the high standard of advice that our advisers have been providing during these challenging times.”