Homeowners aged 55 and over are releasing the equivalent of £11m every day from their homes, according to the latest quarterly lending figures from the Equity Release Council.
An unprecedented 12,016 new equity release plans were agreed from July to September 2018, equating to 6% more new customers than in Q2 2018.
This is nearly double the amount seen in the same period three years ago, when the figure was 6,049.
Property wealth withdrawals remain stable
The report found that the average amount of property wealth unlocked by new customers has remained broadly consistent.
The average new lump sum lifetime mortgage plan was 5% lower than in Q2 2018, decreasing from £95,991 to £91,398.
The average first instalment from a drawdown plan saw a marginal quarterly increase of 3% from £63,584 to £65,343.
Returning customer trends
Total lending of £99m to returning drawdown customers in Q3 2018 was the largest quarterly amount on record.
However, the average drawdown taken per customer was marginally lower than the previous quarter, for the second quarter in a row, decreasing from £11,543 to £11,443.
David Burrowes, chairman of the Equity Release Council (pictured), said that the equity release market is making an increasingly important contribution to the later life landscape on an individual, social and economic level.
He added: “Government, regulators and industry must continue to seek ways to help people take a more rounded approach to later life financial planning.
“No one solution suits every individual need, and there is no doubt more people can benefit from considering property wealth alongside pensions, savings and other assets when making financial decisions – both for themselves and for those around them.”
Equity release may break the £4bn barrier
Will Hale, CEO at Key, said that today’s figures suggest that it may be possible to reach and even break the £4bn barrier in 2018.
He added: “We have seen more than 33,500 customers release over £2.86bn thus far this year and a clear indication that housing equity is firmly established as a normal part of financial planning in later life.
“Driving the expansion is the ever-increasing diversity of customers looking for equity release solutions while lenders are responding by ensuring that plans become more flexible so that older homeowners can release money in the most appropriate way for them and their families.”