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Pensioners own property worth £749.45 billion

7th February 2012 Print

Retired homeowners have total property wealth owned outright of up to £749.45 billion in the face of ongoing housing market volatility, research from leading independent equity release adviser Key Retirement Solutions shows.

Homeowners aged 65-plus have lost £7.185 billion in the past three months – equivalent to around £1,236 each – as the housing market stalled again, Key Retirement Solutions’ Pensioner Property Equity Index shows.

And they are more than £25 billion down since September 2010 when total property value was worth £775 billion.

The index revealed just three regions out of the 11 covered saw increases with eight suffering declines.

Over-65 homeowners in London and Scotland were the biggest losers seeing average loses of £5,937 and £5,804 with over-65s in the East of England suffering losses of £3,460.

The only gains were recorded in Wales, the North East and West Midlands with the Welsh the biggest winners seeing increases of £836 on average.

Key Retirement’s figures show a third of property equity is owned by pensioners in London and the South East of England – in London over-65s own property without any mortgages worth £125.03 billion while in the South East pensioners own £121.76 billion of property without mortgages.

Dean Mirfin, Group Director at Key Retirement Solutions, said: “The housing market remains extremely volatile with the losses in the past three months showing that the recovery is still a long way off. People are starting to realise that waiting for recovery is not a viable strategy when considering equity release.                                                                                                    

“Whilst we have seen a decline in the value of equity held, the over-65s own considerable property wealth which represents a massive investment success as they no longer have mortgages and will in most cases have bought more than 25 years ago.

“The equity release market is seeing a rise in the number of plans sold and the money released with more pensioners opting for drawdown products which enable them to benefit from lower borrowing costs today, allowing for increased flexibility to access further funds over time as and when required.”