New equity release advances grew 12 per cent between the second and third quarters of 2011, according to equity release trade body Safe Home Income Plans.
SHIP members advanced £184.9m in the second quarter of the year, increasing to £206.2m in the third quarter.
The number of equity release customers grew by over 10 per cent from 3,710 in Q2 to 4,148 in Q3.
Drawdown lifetime mortgages remained the most popular in Q3, accounting for 61 per cent of market sales. This is followed by lump sum lifetime mortgages at 36 per cent, with home reversion schemes accounting for 2 per cent of all sales in Q3.
The average amount released on an equity release product remained stable in Q3 at £49,703. However, this figure has risen 6 per cent over the last year from £46,754 in Q3 2010.
SHIP director general Andrea Rozario says: “This has been an excellent quarter for the equity release market. Considering the wealth locked up in a property as part of general financial or retirement planning is essential, as it will continue to be the greatest asset most people have as they approach retirement.
“We feel that breaking the psychologically important £200 million barrier for new advances in Q3 is fantastic news for an industry that is recognised to have a huge latent demand.”