The total released was £1.14bn in Q1, up from £1.06bn for the equivalent period in 2020.
The number of new and returning customers totalled 16,527.
However, new customer numbers fell, with volume of new plans down by 1,067 to 10,030, compared to Q1 2020.
The total released was lower by £20m compared to Q4 2020. Also, the number of new and returning customers shrank by 2,806 against Q4.
Among new customers, 58 per cent chose drawdown lifetime mortgages, while 42 per cent opted for a lump sum in Q1. The average first instalment of a drawdown was £89,758, while for a new lump sum it was £123,028.
“The latest data shows the equity release market following a steady course. Resilient house prices mean that, for many older homeowners, property continues to be the most significant asset at their disposal and a viable route to boosting income,” said David Burrowes, chairman at the Equity Release Council (pictured).
Strength of the housing market boosting equity
Claire Singleton, chief executive at Legal & General Home Finance, said: “One of the big things this year is lower rates, which make accessing property wealth more viable for customers who want to remain in their homes. Property wealth will play an increasingly important role in funding future retirements.”
Will Hale, chief executive at Key, said: “The increase in average size of release illustrates how strength in the housing market means many over-55s have more equity at their disposal.
“Expansion in number of products and features means the market now offers the low rates and flexible terms required by today’s customers,” he added.
Stephen Lowe, group communications director at Just Group, said: “The market is transforming, with more providers offering more varied product features. Looking forward, we are confident that the appetite for using housing wealth to support retirement aspirations is set to grow.”