More than 12,000 plans were agreed in the third quarter
Equity release lending could break the £4bn barrier in 2018, according to equity release adviser Key.
It comes after figures from the Equity Release Council (ERC) revealed third quarter lending activity saw more than £1bn of property wealth unlocked for the first time in any quarterly period.
The total was up £195m (24%) since the third quarter of 2017.
An unprecedented 12,016 new equity release plans were agreed from July to September 2018, equating to 6% more new customers than in the second quarter 2018 and nearly double the 6,049 seen in the third quarter of 2015.
Drawdown products remain the most common choice among new customers, with 63% choosing this type of plan over lump sum products.
David Burrowes, chairman of the ERC, said the equity release market is making an increasingly important contribution to the later life landscape on an individual, social and economic level.
“Government, regulators and industry must continue to seek ways to help people take a more rounded approach to later life financial planning,” he added.
Will Hale, chief executive at Key, said the figures are a clear indication that housing equity is firmly established as a normal part of financial planning in later life.
“Driving the expansion is the ever-increasing diversity of customers looking for equity release solutions while lenders are responding by ensuring that plans become more flexible so that older homeowners can release money in the most appropriate way for them and their families,” he stated.