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Equity release lending surges to record high

Equity release lending has surged to an all-time high in the second quarter of this year.

The £384.3 million of lending is the largest of any quarter since 2002, according to new figures released today by the Equity Release Council.

It surpassed the previous high of £375.4 million raised in the third quarter of last year.


Homeowners aged 55 and over now withdraw £4.2m of housing wealth each day

There were more than 5,400 new equity release customers in Q2, up 11% from last quarter

New plans taken out in the first six months of 2015 topped £710 million, the largest first-half total on record.

Lump sum lifetime mortgage lending hit an eight-year high but drawdown grows faster year-on-year.

​Nigel Waterson, chairman of the Equity Release Council, said: “The last three months have been a landmark period for UK retirees and those approaching retirement, and equity release activity continues to grow amid a sea of change.

“There is no doubt the pension freedoms have created more options for people to consider, but the appeal of tapping into housing wealth is on the rise as older consumers seek to make use of all the assets at their disposal.

“With the mainstream mortgage market grappling with issues of so-called age discrimination in the wake of the Mortgage Market Review (MMR), it is time to build bridges and encourage more focus on equity release as a source of finance in retirement.”

Stephen Lowe, director at retirement income specialist, Just Retirement, said: "Going forward there is every reason to expect a continued increase in demand as growing numbers of people tune into the important role that housing assets can play in providing retirement income and meeting a range of needs in later life.”


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