0.5pc rate has helped equity release

The provider believes that this period has been the catalyst for unprecedented growth in the size and scope of the equity release market – which has benefited consumers.

Alice Watson, product and communications manager at Stonehaven, said: “The sustained period of ultra-low interest rates has heralded an unprecedented period of innovation.

“With savings accounts generating lower returns at the same time as property prices have risen dramatically, more and more people have been exploring other ways to unlock wealth and generate income.

“The equity release market has responded to this, improving the flexibility and simplicity of its products and services.

“This has brought equity release firmly into the mainstream, with its mortgages now available to and suitable for more people than ever before, helping those over 55 to access the wealth they have accumulated over their lifetimes.”

According to latest figures from the Equity Release Council, the number of customers buying lump sum lifetimes mortgages grew 16% in the first half of 2014, compared to the previous year. The number of customers buying drawdown products also grew by 13%.