The equity release adviser said that the average loan size rocketed to £59,887, as more people than ever unlocked the wealth in their homes. The firm saw a 28% rise in borrowers over 2016 compared to 2015.
Scotland experienced the biggest boost in equity release plans, where the number of borrowers shot up 53.6%, followed by London (45.7%) the South West (32.7%) and the East of England (32.2%).
Homeowners in the capital released the most equity from their homes last year, with an average loan size of £123,000, up 13% on 2015. Average size of equity release plans in the South East were £65,870, with homeowners in Northern Ireland released the least amount of equity (£32,725) from their properties.
The top reasons why people are releasing equity from their homes include paying off mortgages, helping with everyday living expenses and making improvements to their homes. According to Responsible Equity Release, 36% to took out plans to clear mortgages, 28% to provide a cash cushion, 23% for home improvements, 7% to clear outstanding debts and 4% as an early inheritance.
Steve Wilkie, managing director of the firm, said: “The equity release market had a record 2016. The industry has innovated to appeal to a wider audience and more homeowners are using the equity in their homes for a host of reasons, from supplementing their retirement income, to providing lump sums to pay off mortgages and clearing debts.
“Equity release has provided an invaluable lifeline for thousands of pensioners who have found that their pension income is not sufficient to fund their retirements.”