According to new data released by the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML), the number of equity release mortgages taken out in the first six months of 2006 has increased by two per cent over the same period last year.
However, despite 11,130 successful equity release applications received, the total value of the market has declined by seven per cent, year-on-year.
The figures suggest that while equity release as a product is becoming more widely recognised and better advised upon, the reliance on it by those who apply is falling.
"Today's data paints an encouraging picture of the equity release market," said CML senior policy adviser Laurence Baxter.
"More people are taking out equity release mortgages, showing that slowly but surely, the market is continuing to grow.
"Consumer confidence will continue to improve if the good practices of providers and some intermediaries become more widespread across the market," Mr Baxter concluded.
Equity release is a popular supplement to a pension fund for the older generation who are rich in equity, yet relatively poor when it comes to savings and day-to-day cash-flow.
It provides an important source of income for many retirees and is becoming more popular as a product as it gains prominence in the financial marketplace.To read more about pensions, click here.
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