Lifetime borrowers withdrew £6.8m a day in 2016: Key Retirement

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Retired homeowners have withdrawn more than £6.8m of property value a day in 2016 so far, according to Key Retirement.

Key’s Q3 equity release market monitor shows that more than £1.58bn was released in the nine months to October, compared with £1.71bn in the whole of 2015.

Homeowners gained an average £75,900 each by using equity release in 2016.

The average release varied by region, with Londoners releasing £135,886 compared with £44,830 in Northern Ireland.

Across the country nine out of 12 regions saw growth in the value of property wealth released. The highest was the West Midlands, with a 67 per cent rise in Q3 2016 on Q3 2015.

The East Midlands saw a 50 per cent rise, and London a 48 per cent increase. The only area to record a substantial fall was Scotland, with an 18 per cent decrease.

Around 82 per cent of equity release borrowers used some or all of the cash for home and garden improvements, compared to 61 per cent last year.

Just over 40 per cent used lifetime lending to clear credit card or loan debts, 34 per cent funded holidays and 21 per cent paid off mortgages.

Key Retirement technical director Dean Mirfin says: “The market is on course for another record year with rate cuts for loans and new providers entering the market providing further momentum.

“The results also show that demand for tapping into housing equity is very much increasing throughout the UK with most regions recording record growth in plan numbers and total lending.”

Key’s Equity equity release market monitor analyses data for Equity Release Council members and non-members.