In the second quarter of this year, one in ten customers took out an equity release loan in order to fund a new property purchase, with an increase of more than 50% comparing to 6.6% who used equity release for this reason in 2017.
Retirement Advantage has found a growing willingness among over-55s to use property wealth in a diverse range of lifestyle areas.
Other one-off purchases, such as cars and holidays, are also popular uses for equity release.
In addition, 14.1% of customers used equity release to buy a car last quarter, compared to 9.9% in 2017, whilst nearly one in four did so to go on holiday.
According to the figures released by the Equity Release Council in July, the equity release market approached almost £1bn of lending with an increase of 12% in the second quarter.
Alice Watson, head of product and marketing at Retirement Advantage Equity Release, said: “We’ve seen plenty of headlines suggesting the property market has slowed in recent months. Not for over-55s, it seems. For this cohort, our figures suggest they are increasingly keen to make property purchases.
“It is unlikely this is down to a wave of downsizing. We know from research we conducted earlier this year downsizing is not popular – only one in five older people say they’re prepared to consider it. Instead, the increase suggests that the attraction of property as a long-term investment endures. For over-55s keen to own new property, wealth tied up in their existing home can make a significant financial contribution.
“Using existing property wealth in this way also offers further evidence that equity release customers today are proactively using the products to make major financial decisions. This reinforces the rapid maturity across this booming sector.”