The number of new lifetime mortgages rose last year but the value of new lending fell, says the Council of Mortgage Lenders.
It says this reflects a drop in the size of the average new loan from around £45,000 in 2005 to £41,000 in 2006.
In the fourth quarter, the average new loan was only £38,400 – the lowest since the CML began its survey in 2002.
New lifetime lending totalled £971m in 2006 compared with £1.05bn the previous year. The number of new loans rose from 23,215 to 23,786.
Head of policy Jackie Bennett says: “The trend towards smaller loan amounts on lifetime mortgages suggests lenders and intermediaries are being careful to ensure that people are only borrowing what they need.”
Meanwhile, Thinc Group has struck a referral deal with Key Retirement Solutions. Thinc’s equity-release business will now be referred to the specialist intermediary. Previously, only a handful of Thinc advisers were permitted to write equity release. Key will also support Thinc advisers through its Lifetime Advisory Service training scheme.
Key business development director Dean Mirfin says: “The partnership with Thinc is great news and strengthens Key’s relationship within the broader equity-release market.”