Equity release is likely to see a surge in activity over the course of the second half of 2021, according to Claire Singleton (pictured), chief executive of Legal & General Home Finance.

Singleton expects to see a rise in the use of equity release in the second half of the year due to the financial implications of the pandemic.

She said: “I expect to see older family members increasingly using equity release to gift their younger relatives in H2.

“As well as this, I predict that gifting cash earlier in one’s lifetime will become more commonplace, through the awareness raised by COVID-19 and with the intention to reduce their inheritance tax bill.”

Research collected by Legal & General Home Finance shows that 5.5 million older family members expect to provide additional financial support to younger members as a direct result of COVID-19.

Singleton also noted that L&G Home Finance has seen its average case size of customers rise by increase 43% from 2019 to 2021 YTD, which she attributed to gifting and inter-generational transfers of wealth.