Individuals using funds to support a house purchase more than doubled in Q4 2020, according to Equity Release Supermarket.
Overall across 2020, 50% more customers used some of their money to fund a house purchase than in 2019.
The report conducted by Equity Release Supermarket sought to report the behavioural shifts and factors still influencing customers due to the ongoing effects of the pandemic, as well as how the measures brought in by the government to support the economy have affected consumer activity.
The data also revealed that periods of lockdown influenced spending habits, as customers using equity release to cover debt repayments fell to 7% in Q4 of 2020.
London accounted for 10% of sales in Q4, up from 8% in Q4 2019.
At the end of 2020, the capital’s share of business was up 0.2% at 7.9%, compared to 7.7% in 2019.
The data revealed a shift in the usage of funds, driven by both the government’s support measures and changes in consumer behaviour.
It also noted that the stamp duty holiday has encouraged customers to take advantage of the opportunity before the deadline.
Mark Gregory, founder and chief executive at Equity Release Supermarket, said: “Findings on the usage of funds are not necessarily surprising given that 2020 gave rise to the stamp duty holiday and during lockdown periods many people found they were spending less; potentially having more disposable income to reduce their level of debt.
“During Q4 of last year, we interestingly witnessed a resurgence in the London market.
“This again could be due to the stamp duty holiday, or perhaps the resilience in the housing market and the all-time low interest rates currently available across equity release plans.”