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Over-55s unlock £11m of property wealth a day as equity release soars

More than 11,000 customers released cash from their properties in Q3

Homeowners aged 55 and over unlocked almost £11m of property wealth each day between July and September, according to figures from the Equity Release Council.

Equity release activity rose 8% to £988m in the third quarter, making it the market’s busiest quarter of 2019 to date – both in terms of new plans agreed and total property wealth accessed.

A total of 11,419 new customers opted to release cash from their properties in Q3 2019 – a 6% increase on the previous quarter.

So far this year, more than 33,000 new customers have chosen to access their property wealth using equity release. This exceeds the total number of new plans agreed in any full year from 1991 to 2016.

The Equity Release Council said the trend points towards the increasing role of property wealth in retirement planning conversations, with research showing more than 50% of homeowners aged 45 and over see property wealth as part of their later life plans.

David Burrowes, chairman of the Equity Release Council, said today’s equity release market is offering new solutions to fund later life, by combining rigorous consumer protections with more product choices and flexibility to help people meet their financial needs and goals.

“The result of buying property and making mortgage payments during their working lives is that bricks and mortar become many people’s single biggest financial asset when they reach later life. Industry, regulators and government must continue to promote and encourage lifelong savings habits and support consumers to take a joined-up approach to later life planning,” he stated.