Customers released nearly £5,500 more on average in the three months to 1 October, compared to £71,483 in the same period last year, according to the latest figures released by Key.
The total value of new property wealth released in the three months increased by 25% on the previous year to £933.9m and plan sales grew by 16% to 12,133.
In Q3 2018, two-thirds used some or all of the cash to improve their homes or gardens, over a quarter gifted some or all of the money to help family or friends, whilst 30% used the proceeds of equity release to repay unsecured debts.
All areas of the country saw strong growth in plan sales and value released, with Londoners receiving the biggest cash boost at £141,671. The lowest was £50,000 in Northern Ireland.
Will Hale, CEO at Key (pictured), said that the market is on course to reach or even pass the £4bn mark this year given that the last three months of the year is often one of the busiest quarters.
Hale told Mortgage Solutions that a key driver of this growth is a more diverse profile of customers realising that housing equity can meet a wide variety of retirement funding and inter-generational wealth transfer needs.
“With the average house price in the UK sitting at around £232,000 – far in excess of the income multiples that many people can borrow – we believe that a desire from families to help younger members on to and move up the housing ladder will see equity release continue to offer growing support to the health of the overall UK housing market.
“If people’s parents or grandparents have indicated a willingness to help with financing a new home, we are likely to see even see more high street banks and mainstream mortgage brokers mentioning later life borrowing options and referring people to specialist advisers.
“Increased flexibility of equity release plans means older homeowners can use their money in the most appropriate way for them and their families and independent expert advice is key to ensuring they can do so.”