The 51 members of the Legacy Foresight consortium, which together account for 49 per cent of the charity legacies market, reported that combined income in the year to June 2011 was £977m. This is compared with £981m in the year to March 2011 and £992m in the year to December 2010.
There was a mixed picture among the 51 members of the consortium: 28 had seen their legacy income fall and 23 had seen it rise compared with the same period last year, the report says.
It says the two main reasons for the weakening of the market were falling house prices and "plummeting" share prices. A large proportion of legacy income comes from the sale of legators’ property and shares.
"While house prices have been slowly dropping since late last year, plummeting share prices are a recent phenomenon, with 15 to 20 per cent knocked off stock market values over the past month," the report says.
The report also points out that economic commentators are increasingly predicting the likelihood of a double-dip recession, which it says would have a knock-on effect on legacy incomes.