That’s according to new figures from the Equity Release Council, which found that more than 8,000 new plans were agreed across the quarter, up by 27% on the same period in 2016.
Drawdown plans remain the most popular, accounting for more than two-thirds (68%) of all equity release products taken out.
The results show the market is continuing to grow after it passed the £2bn mark in 2016 for the first time.
Stuart Wilson, channel marketing director at more 2 life, said that the figures were the latest sign of a “burgeoning equity release market”, predicting further records would be broken this year.
He added: “Our recent research shows over 40% of over-65s have an interest-only mortgage, and with many of these due to mature in the coming years, the size of the equity release market will continue to grow as customers look to later life lending as a way to stay on top of their finances.”
Last week’s Marketwatch panel was unanimous in its view that the market for later-life lending in general was due to keep growing.
Dean Mirfin, technical director at Key Retirement agreed that the expansion of the market was impressive, but cautioned it would be even higher if mortgage lenders were doing more to signpost equity release as an option for interest-only borrowers coming to the end of their term.
He said: “Most of the interest-only customers approaching us are finding us themselves. Some lenders are on board with offering wider solutions including equity release but this is still in the minority, and we hope more lenders start to do more.”
Alice Watson, head of marketing at Retirement Advantage Equity Release, added: “The challenge for equity release providers, if this growth is to be sustained, is to continue to innovate and develop products which will evolve to meet the needs of older property owners.”