Enquiries for equity release have increase by 110% when comparing H1 2019 to H1 2021, according to specialist equity release and lifetime mortgage brokers KIS Finance.

The main reasons given by customers for taking out a lifetime mortgage were supplementing income (36%), followed by offering financial support to children and grandchildren (30%), and making home improvements (18%).

In addition, 38% of applicants used the funds raised from equity release to clear existing mortgage facilities before receiving the proceeds from their new lifetime mortgage.

Holly Andrews, managing director at KIS Finance, said: “It’s been very interesting to see how the enquiries for equity release have grown over the last couple of years, and especially during the last few months.

“The pandemic has clearly had an impact on many people’s income and significant numbers have turned to equity release as a way of accessing financial support for both themselves, and for family.

“36% of customers turned to equity release to support their income, and this includes people who are still working as well as those who are retired and receiving a pension.

“When the furlough scheme ends in September, we are expecting to see a new wave of redundancies which could potentially find a lot of people in their 50s and 60s unemployed and struggling to find work.

“This in turn could lead to another surge in lifetime mortgage enquiries as more and more seek financial support.

“Giving beneficiaries an early inheritance has always been a common use for equity release, but this has been even more prevalent over the last year.”