"More money was released in the first six months of 2018 than in the whole of 2015 as records continue to be broken across the market"
The equity release market continued its record-breaking expansion as retired homeowners released £1.71 billion of property wealth in the first six months of the year, according to the latest Key Retirement research.
Around £9.5 million of property wealth was released every day in the six months to July with equity release plan sales growing by 29% compared to H1 2017.
Customers are releasing an average of nearly £78,000 with families becoming one of the biggest beneficiaries of their property wealth gains. Around 28% of retired homeowners used some or all of the money for gifts for families, compared with 23% in the first six months of 2017.
The total value of property wealth released to the end of June increased by 37% on the previous year to £1.71 billion from £1.24 billion and plan sales grew to 22,816 from 17,656.
22% used the money to clear outstanding mortgages during the six months and 32% paid off credit cards or loans.
The South East of England accounted for more than a quarter of all equity release sales and nearly 30% of total lending, but every region saw strong growth in the value of property wealth released.
Retired homeowners in London released an average £133,000 of property wealth each in the six months – the highest in the country – followed by the South East on nearly £90,000 and the South West on £77,000.
The total value of property wealth released soared by 65% in East Anglia and plan sales surged by 50% in the West Midlands.
Dean Mirfin, chief product officer at Key Retirement, said: “Customer demand is driving the expansion in the market to new record highs enabling more retired homeowners to transform their finances.
“More money was released in the first six months of 2018 than in the whole of 2015 as records continue to be broken across the market with expert independent advisers playing a vital role.
“Property wealth is not just helping to transform an individual’s retirement planning but is also helping their families with their financial needs. The growth in gifting underlines how much can be achieved when the average amounts being released are as much as £78,000. The Bank of Mum and Dad, or Gran and Grandad are changing lives, and not just their own.”