Key Retirement Solutions has reported that 31% of pensioners used property wealth to help their families in the first six months of 2012 compared with 23% in the same period of 2011 as the total value of housing wealth released rose to £446 million.
Meanwhile, over the same period the numbers using property wealth to clear their own debts dropped to 25% from 31%.
Total lending in the first six months grew by 15.7% to £446.21 million from £385.68 million. Key Retirement Solutions said this amount would have reached £630 million if £185 million of untapped drawdown funds which have yet to be released are added in.
Plan sales rose 10.7% to 9,288 in the six months compared with 8,387 for the same period of 2011.
Drawdown sales made up 65% of total sales in the first half compared with 55% for the whole of 2011 in addition enhanced sales, both drawdown and single advance, made up 9% of the market.
“Retired homeowners are putting families first as the recession continues to squeeze finances across generations,” said Dean Mirfin, group firector at Key Retirement Solutions.
“Helping out family is a powerful motivation for elderly homeowners and it is striking that they feel financially secure enough to help families before themselves and are under less financial pressure from their own debt.
“The equity release market is firmly back on the growth track with total values released up 15% in the first half of the year while sales of plans are also well ahead of 2011. The ongoing innovation in the market is driving growth with drawdown taking a crucial role.”
58% of customers used some or all of the cash for home and garden improvements with 30% using money to fund holidays. Only 16% used money to pay regular bills while 18% used it to clear outstanding mortgages.