New figures from the Equity Release Council have revealed that equity release lending rose by 44% against the year in Q3 and passed £800 million in a single quarter for first time.
Over-55s withdrew a total of £824 million of property wealth from their homes via equity release plans during Q3, up from the £701 million recorded in Q2 and £572 million lent in Q3 2016.
Q3 lending activity has risen by 82% in the last two years, up from £453 million in Q3 2015. New customer numbers have risen 64% over the same period from 6,049 in Q3 2015.
The amount of lending during the first nine months of 2017 has now surpassed the £2bn lent during the whole of 2016.
The proportion of new customers choosing drawdown lifetime mortgages over lump sum lifetime mortgages or home reversion plans in Q3 2017 rose by nine percentage points to 77% from the previous quarter (68%) and 15 percentage points year-on-year (from 62%).
Nigel Waterson, Chairman of the Equity Release Council, commented: “The sustained growth in housing wealth withdrawals is indicative of a wider shift in the way consumers are approaching their retirement planning, by taking a broader range of financial options into consideration.
Property is, for many people, their largest asset and has the potential to play an increasingly important role in the future of retirement funding. The combination of rigorous safeguards and flexible products in today’s market is one reason why housing wealth is now being used to support a wide range of financial goals. These range from boosting pension income and supporting retirement lifestyles to funding home improvements and adaptations, consolidating debts and providing a living inheritance to younger generations.
As more homeowners look to housing wealth as a source of retirement finance, The Council and its members will continue to ensure the highest standards of customer protection are in place alongside the continuing innovation that has seen the available product range triple since 2007.”