Lending activity in the UK equity release market hit a record £870m in the first quarter of 2018 120% more than the £394m registered in the first three months of 2016.
That is according to figures from the Equity Release Council, which reveal that the over-55s unlocked nearly £10m of housing wealth every day between January and March this year.
That is more than double the £4.2m released daily in the first quarter of 2016, with the council's chairman, David Burrowes, saying more people are turning to alternative forms of finance to fund retirement.
"While pensioners' income is on the rise, a potential over-reliance on private pensions could lead to a retirement income shortfall in the future," he explained.
"New sources of income in later life are increasingly being sought, and this highlights the need for a rounded approach to retirement planning which considers all wealth, assets and product choices."
The increase in demand is reflected in the number of new equity release customers almost doubling from 5,175 in the first quarter of 2016 to 10,195 in the first three months of this year.
This has been met by a rise in the number of product options available to customers, which grew from 69 in January 2017 to 86 one year later.
It was also found that competition has driven greater innovation, with over two-thirds of product options now offering customers the choice to make ad-hoc, penalty-free voluntary or partial repayments of their loan.
Drawdown lifetime mortgages continue to be the most popular product choice, with two in three customers opting for this arrangement.
These allow for smaller amounts of housing equity withdrawn initially, with an extra amount reserved for future use - limiting the interest owed as it is only charged as funds are removed.
New customers that agreed to these plans withdrew an average of £64,797 in equity in the first three months of this year, 4% more than in the previous quarter, and an 11% rise year-on-year.
"Equity release provides financial help for consumers in a wide range of circumstances, including some wanting to make home improvements or fund social care needs," Burrowes said.
"Given that nearly 70% of all homeowner equity belongs to households aged 55 and over, it is inevitable that housing wealth will also be used to help get the next generation on the housing ladder."