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Equity release market rises 24% to £934 million as strong growth continues

16 July 2016

  • Market on track to exceed £2 billion for the first time
  • Average customer boosted retirement income by £76,300,'s Half Year Equity Release Market Monitor shows

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Retired homeowners cashed in more than £934 million of property wealth in the first six months of the year as a buoyant housing market continued to boost retirement incomes, analysis from leading over-55s finance specialist shows.
Homeowners benefitted by £76,300 each – an increase of £7,850 on the same period last year – highlighting the strong demand in using property wealth for retirement planning. The detailed findings reveal wide regional variances ranging from average releases in East Anglia of over £67,000 to over £184,000 in London.
Key’s Equity Release Market Monitor, which analyses data representing Equity Release Council members and non-members, shows total property wealth released in the six months rose 24% to £934 million from £753 million and total number of plans rose 11% to 12,246 from 11,007. Rising house prices helped drive confidence with the average property value of homeowners using equity release plans rising 16% to £307,021 from £271,248.
The detailed report by the over-55s specialist shows the money continues to be used to improve standards of living in retirement - 65% of customers used some or all of their cash for home and garden improvements while 29% used their property wealth to pay for holidays. Family and friends also benefitted with 24% of over-55s treating or helping their family and friends.
However getting out of the red remains an important priority - 29% of customers used the cash to pay off credit card and loan debts while 22% paid off mortgages, Key’s study shows.
Dean Mirfin, technical director at, said:  
“The equity release market is hotting up, with more mainstream lenders entering the market and more asset-rich homeowners looking to unlock the wealth from their homes in the face of declining annuity rates and continued low interest rates, which hit pensioners the hardest.
“Pensioners who are now considering their home as part of their retirement portfolio are benefitting by £76,300 each, this by far outstrips the size of the average pension pot and provides an important income boost for pensioners who need to secure more funds for their retirement.”
Across the country eight out of 12 regions saw growth in the value of property wealth released with East Anglia recording an 80% rise, Wales 57% and the South East a 33% increase. Eight out of 12 regions recorded rises in plan sales, East Anglia and Wales saw a 39% rise and the East Midlands a 22% increase.
Region Number of plans sold H1 2016 Number of plans sold H1 2015 Total value released H1 2016 (£ million) Total value released H1 2015  (£ million)
South East 3,082 2,627 £283,614,875 £212,743,258
London 1,380 1,211 £184,209,345 £152,021,282
South West 1,443 1,302 £105,008,836 £85,125,883
North West 1,134 957 £58,958,019 £45,171,630
East Anglia 905 649 £67,181,404 £37,260,422
East Midlands 977 800 £53,854,229 £40,599,629
West Midlands 846 776 £47,277,288 £43,937,381
Scotland 715 843 £38,930,928 £42,077,174
   Yorkshire & Humberside 787 894 £40,459,701 £45,238,909
Wales 554 398 £31,700,717 £20,085,543
North East 344 438 £19,014,064 £23,365,779
Northern Ireland 79 110 £4,169,000 £5,830,127
UK 12,246 11,007 £934,378,406 £753,457,017
Around 61% of all sales were drawdown plans, including enhanced drawdown which offers enhanced terms to people with certain health or lifestyle conditions, compared with 39% from lump sum single advance lifetime mortgages including enhanced products.
Anyone looking to release equity from their home can get Key’s independent guide to equity release by calling 0800 531 6027 or visiting
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