Over-55s in the south are three times as likely to use equity release for property purchase as those in the north, according to research from more2life.
The data found that the South West England, South East England and London account for almost half (46%) of all cases of equity release being used to purchase a home.
This was in stark comparison to the North East England, North West England and Yorkshire, which saw three times fewer cases, 15% of the UK total.
Using equity release for property purchase was most popular in the South East, accounting for almost a quarter (23%) of all cases, followed by the South West (16%).
The least popular areas for house purchases through equity release proved to be North East England (2%), followed by Wales (2%) and Scotland (5%).
However, while the use of equity release for property purchase appeared to be driven by the need to manage higher average house prices in the South West (£307,030), South East (£408,701) and London (£775,185), borrowers in the North East (£192,214) did take out the highest average loan to value (31%).
The South West (29%), East Midlands (29%), Scotland (28%) and the East (27%) also boasted higher loan-to-values (LTV’s) than the UK average (26%).
Dave Harris, chief executive at more2life, said: “While the stamp duty holiday has come to a close, today’s figures highlight the important role equity release has played in helping people find their forever home.
“This is never easy – especially if you need to find a property that has been adapted or can be in future – but equity release can provide the boost that people need in order to achieve this.
“Although higher house prices in London, the South West and the South East have seen more customers in these regions choosing this option, we have seen the benefits right across the country.
“For some, it means finding their dream property while for others it means moving closer to family or amenities that support what they want to do in retirement.
“Having raised the profile of equity release with regards to property purchase, we are hopeful that this has put it on the radar of the wider adviser community and we will continue to see people benefit from these products.”