Blog > Equity Release: Northern Ireland - 2023 Market Report

Equity Release: Northern Ireland – 2023 Market Report

equity release northern ireland

By Clare Yates • 2nd July 2023 • 8 min read

All the information you need for equity release in Northern Ireland

Following the latest release of property price data, we explore how continued increases over the last decade have helped to fuel a staggering 30% growth in Northern Ireland’s equity release market. 

We’ll also be taking a look at the impact of rising property prices, including how much more tax-free cash a typical Northern Irish homeowner could unlock from their property. 

The equity release industry saw continued growth last year. A record-breaking 93,421 new and returning customers chose to release £6.2billion of their property wealth, according to Equity Release Council figures. But is this retirement lending option as popular in Northern Ireland as it is across the rest of the UK?

In this article we’ll explore the latest trends for equity release in Northern Ireland, including:

What is involved in equity release?

Before we delve more deeply into our equity release: Northern Ireland market report, let’s take a moment to recap on how a plan works. 

An equity release plan allows homeowners aged 55+ to release some of their home’s value without having to sell or move house. The tax-free cash can be spent in any way the homeowner wishes.

A lifetime mortgage is the most popular type of equity release plan today and is available as a lump sum or drawdown plan. Home reversion plans are also available, though they involve selling all or part of your home to a provider.

One of the biggest benefits for Northern Ireland’s equity release customers is that there are no mandatory monthly repayments to make on the loan. This is because the loan plus interest rolls up each month until the plan comes to an end. This is typically when the homeowner/s pass away or move into long-term care. The loan is then repaid through the sale of their home.

Customers can make voluntary payments up to a certain amount each year to reduce the interest accruing, but there is no obligation to. 

Thanks to the rising prices of housing over the last decade in Northern Ireland, equity release customers here have a strong potential to release the tax-free cash needed to enjoy a richer retirement. 

Looking for equity release companies in Northern Ireland? Our selected advisers can provide all the information and quotes you want from the comfort of your own home. Call  0808 178 3055 today to arrange an appointment.

Average house value in Northern Ireland rises £77k in ten years

The UK enjoyed record average house prices towards the end of 2022 – no doubt a contributing factor to the boom in equity release plans. In Northern Ireland, homeowners have seen the average home there soar by over £35k in the last three years alone.

It means thousands of homeowners across the country are likely to have more equity in their properties than when they purchased them – money which could be put to use during times of need.

When a homeowner’s available equity is calculated, the value of their property is one of the main deciding factors. This will determine how much tax-free money can be unlocked with an equity release plan. Typically, the higher the property is worth, the more cash is available. 

With that in mind, our analysis of equity release in Northern Ireland begins with a breakdown of property prices in the country over the last decade.

Land Registry analysis of Northern Irish house prices since 2013

It’s a well-known fact that UK house prices have risen significantly over the last decade. Many homeowners in and approaching retirement are in a strong position due to owning their home for quite some years. As a result, they are likely to have benefitted substantially in that time from the overall market increases.

The below table shows how the average home in Northern Ireland has increased in value since 2013, compared to the average house price in the UK:

Northern Irish house prices vs UK average: 2013 – 2023

YearUK averageN. Ireland average

SOURCE: Land Registry House Price Statistics in N.I., Feb 2013 – Feb 2023.

To sum up the numbers in the above table, the average house price in Northern Ireland rose by £77,806 in the last decade – a staggering growth of 58%.

In 2021 alone, £1million was added to the UK’s housing market every single minute according to the Equity Release Council. The good news is that despite economic uncertainty casting a shadow over 2023, this latest Land Registry data shows that average house prices remain higher than they were a year ago.

Breakdown of house prices by property type

Owners of detached houses across Northern Ireland saw the biggest monetary and percentage rise in property prices in the 12 months leading up to February 2023. The average value of a detached home in the country now stands at £269,013 – a jump of 7.51% in one year from £249,518, providing £19,495 more equity.

Semi-detached homes in Northern Ireland enjoyed very similar increases of 7.45% over the year, taking them up to an average of £169,556. Terraced properties in Northern Ireland saw a rise of 5.8% in the last year, with the typical property now worth £122,136.

According to PropertyPal, Northern Ireland’s leading property portal, the average new-build property in the country is now worth £235,000. That’s an increase of 10.8% annually.

Most and least expensive places to buy a home in Northern Ireland

Of course, Northern Ireland offers a huge range of property types and values across its green lands, so let’s take a look at regional variances to break things down further. 

According to PropertyPal, the highest average property prices in Northern Ireland are in Lisburn and Castlereagh. Their latest report – the Northern Ireland Housing Market Update for Q1 2023 – reveals that a typical home here will set you back £232,000. 

This is followed by Ards and North Down where the average home was worth £231,300 in the first quarter of 2023. The region with the lowest average property value is in Londonderry and Strabane, where a typical home is worth £157,600.

Northern Ireland’s biggest house price increases by percentage

In percentage terms, homes in Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon saw the largest increases to their property prices, with an impressive 10.1% growth in the last 12 months. The average home there is now worth £173,600. 

Causeway Coast & Glens saw the next largest percentage increase of its typical house prices, with a rise of 9.6% to £206,700.

Belfast saw the country’s third biggest rise in property prices, with the average home increasing by 9.3% to £210,500, according to the report.

The rises are great news for over-55s in the region considering equity release; Northern Ireland properties could provide a welcome source of financial support for homeowners.

What does the house price boom mean for Northern Ireland’s equity release potential?

Later life homeowners in Northern Ireland potentially have a huge amount of equity sitting in their homes today. But how much tax-free money can Northern Irish homeowners unlock?

Equity release plans typically allow customers to unlock between 20-60% of their property’s value. Exactly how much a person can release depends on age (the older you are the more you can unlock), property type and its location. 

Health is also taken into account, with some qualifying conditions entitling homeowners to a higher cash release. Medical conditions that could secure more money include high blood pressure, diabetes, a history of strokes or cancer, or having a very high or very low Body Mass Index (BMI).

The table below gives an example of how much equity a typical 74-year-old living in Northern Ireland might have been able to release with a plan over the last decade:

Equity release potential for a typical 74-year-old Northern Ireland homeowner: 2013-2023

YearAverage N.I. house valueExample tax-free cash available with equity release
02 2013£97,428£38,971
02 2014£103,570£41,428
02 2015£110,940£44,376
02 2016£118,851£47,540
02 2017£124,786£49,914
02 2018£130,292£52,116
02 2019£135,434£54,174
02 2020£140,722£56,289
02 2021£149,084£59,634
02 2022£163,877£65,551
02 2023£180,287£70,094

(These are example figures based on a 74-year-old releasing 40% of the total value of their home with a standard lifetime mortgage.)

The homeowner we’ve based these figures on could potentially unlock £17,978 more than they could have done five years ago, thanks to rising house prices. That’s enough to buy a brand new Citroën C3 Aircross according to

Furthermore, they could potentially now access a huge £31,123 extra tax-free cash than a decade ago, simply for owning their home.

Growth in Northern Ireland’s equity release market

The end-of-year figures compiled for the Equity Release Council’s Autumn 2022 Market Report highlights the rising popularity of equity release schemes in Northern Ireland. It reveals that between the years 2017-2021 there was a 30% increase in the number of equity release plans arranged specifically in Northern Ireland

It also reveals that in 2021, more than 1 in 10 (11%) of all new equity release plans were arranged in Northern Ireland, Scotland or Wales. 

With average house prices doing so well in Northern Ireland, equity release could offer a solution for many more homeowners looking for a way to improve their financial situation in 2023. 

It’s easy to see why so many are already choosing to tap into their property wealth. From home improvements and holidays, to help with paying bills and clearing the mortgage; the money unlocked can be life changing.

Why has equity release been surging in popularity?

In addition to booming house prices, the equity release industry is likely to be reaping the benefits of its efforts to offer more flexibility and choice to customers.

For instance, since March 2022, all new equity release plans from members of the Equity Release Council allow customers to make voluntary partial repayments on plans to reduce interest. 

Some plans today even allow customers to repay up to 10% of the loan plus interest every year penalty-free. It means homeowners could effectively pay off their plan in as little as ten years.

Use our equity release Northern Ireland calculator to discover how much you could unlock from your home. It is free and simple to use!

Can I arrange a Bank of Ireland equity release plan?

Are you looking for reputable equity release companies in Northern Ireland? If so, you might be wondering if Bank of Ireland equity release plans are available. 

We have checked and unfortunately this bank does not offer equity release mortgages. Northern Ireland homeowners can, however, get all the information and quotes you need from the comfort of your own home via Equity Release Wise. For your convenience, our selected advisers can even arrange your equity release plan for you over the phone and by post.

If you are currently deliberating equity release, Northern Ireland customers can speak to Equity Release Wise for an unbeatable service. Our team will be happy to answer any initial questions you have about a plan, before putting you in touch with a qualified equity release specialist. 

As part of the service, our selected advisers will also be able to recommend equity release solicitors in Northern Ireland, too, so you’ll have everything you need to get started.

Discover which providers do offer equity release in the region in this article: Can you do equity release in Northern Ireland?

Will slowing property prices affect equity release in Northern Ireland?

Savvy equity release customers naturally pay close attention to house prices in their area. But with gloomy forecasts of a drop in UK house prices by as much as 10% in 2023, how will Northern Ireland’s equity release customers fare? 

The good news is that, according to PropertyPal’s Housing Market Update for Q1 2023 that we referenced earlier, Northern Ireland house prices are likely to continue doing well thanks to a boom in demand for properties in the region.

Homeowners should also consider that even if the predicted drop in value does come about, properties across Northern Ireland are likely to remain higher in value than they were ten years ago. This extra equity could go a long way in helping later life homeowners across the country.

 “Market demand remains strong but supply a persistent challenge”

According to the report, market supply of properties in Northern Ireland is currently down by 14% from last year. Despite this, demand for properties in the region is 65% higher than what it was in 2019. 

The report also revealed that sales during the month of March 2023 exceeded the pre-COVID-19 average by 4% and properties transacted approximately one week faster than usual.

As we know, house prices determine how much homeowners can unlock from their properties. With strong demand for housing keeping prices elevated across the country, will Northern Ireland’s equity release market grow in 2023? Only time will tell.

Find out more about equity release mortgages in Northern Ireland

Anybody thinking about unlocking some of their property wealth should seek the guidance of a qualified equity release adviser to make sure you are getting the best deal.

You don’t need to scour the internet for a reputable equity release company. Northern Ireland homeowners can get in touch with our friendly specialists, who can provide all the equity release advice Northern Ireland customers could need. 

Our friendly team of selected advisers are specialists in equity release. Northern Ireland homeowners can explore all options, ask any questions you might have and gather all the quotations needed from the comfort of your own home. 

Remember, you’ll only be charged a fee for the advice provided if you choose to go ahead with your recommended plan. This is usually paid from the money that you unlock. 

Find out if you qualify for an equity release plan and how much you could release by speaking to Equity Release Wise today. Use our free equity release Northern Ireland calculator, call 0808 178 3055 or request a free call back at a time that suits you.

About Clare Yates. With over a decade’s experience writing about later life financial planning, Clare offers a wealth of knowledge about equity release, pension annuities, wills, LPAs and more. When she isn’t writing, Clare likes to spend her time baking and going on walks with her husband, two children and their rescue dog. Follow Clare on LinkedIn

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