The total number of equity release advances fell by 8% compared to Q4 2011 when there were advances worth £215.9m but SHIP said it was to be expected as consumers prefer to start the year as frugally as possible.
The proportion of customers choosing to access their equity in smaller tranches increased over the past quarter, according to SHIP.
Drawdown mortgages accounted for 67% of the market followed by lump sum mortgages at 32% and home reversions at 2%.
SHIP said this was the likely result of more people choosing to use equity release to supplement a monthly income rather than pay for one-off expenditure.
The proportion of equity release plans sold through intermediaries remained level with last quarter at 90% at a value of £179.5m compared with direct sales of £19.6m.
Andrea Rozario, director general of SHIP, said: “These figures are extremely encouraging and show that the market is continuing to grow steadily, year on year. Furthermore, the increase in the number of customers electing to drawdown their housing wealth in stages reflects the growing awareness for the different uses of housing equity – such as supplementing an existing income.
“This year is a significant and exciting one for SHIP, as we expand our membership to include members from across the equity release industry. This will allow us to provide an even more comprehensive look at equity release sales figures in the future through the expansion of data available from new members.
“These figures show that there is a growing appetite amongst consumers for equity release products and by bringing together organisations from across the industry we will ensure that we are well placed to meet this demand.”