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Equity release topped £3bn in 2017: Key Retirement

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Retired homeowners cashed in more than £3bn of property wealth last year via equity release, according to Key Retirement.

The total value of property wealth released in 2017 grew 40 per cent on the previous year to £3.01bn.

This is the fastest rate of growth on record and the sixth yearly increase in a row, according to Key’s 2017 Equity Release Market Monitor.

Homes paid out more than £8.2m a day last year to pensioners, with the average retired homeowner using £77,380 of property wealth.

Plan sales rose by 41 per cent in 2017 to 38,955 from 27,666 in 2016.

The most popular use of the cash was to fund home and garden improvements, with 64 per cent re-investing some or all of their money in their houses.

One in three (33 per cent) were taking more holidays while 24 per cent helped family and friends.

However, many used the money to clear debts with a fifth (22 per cent) paying off existing mortgages including interest-only capital repayments.

Londoners cashed in the most taking an average £133,700 compared with nearly £49,000 in Scotland.

The lender first predicted the 2017 market would top £3bn last September.

Key Retirement chief product officer Dean Mirfin says: “More lenders are launching in the market in response to demand and that in turn is increasing competition, driving down rates and bringing new innovative features to the market as expert advisers increasingly recognise how property wealth makes a major difference for retirement income.”

The Key Retirement figures are drawn from Equity Release Council data and other market information.

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