Properties owned by over-55s in London lost value in the second quarter of 2016 for the first time in four years, Retirement Advantage’s Equity Release Property Value Tracker (which takes data from the Office for National Statistics) has found.
In Greater London the value of homes fell by 0.04%, while for the whole of England, Scotland and Wales they increased by 0.7%.
As of Q2 2016 over-55 homeowners held £381bn in property wealth, with prices rising significantly in the North of England (7.2%) followed by Yorkshire and the Humber (6.6%) and the West Midlands (5.6%).
Alice Watson (pictured), product and communications manager at Retirement Advantage Equity Release, said: “It’s amazing to see that, despite unprecedented political and economic uncertainty ahead of the EU referendum, the property wealth available to over 55s through equity release continues to grow.
“It’s too early to tell what impact the Brexit vote will have on housing wealth but, if mortgage lending conditions tighten as the result of a post-referendum economic slowdown, it could enhance the appeal of equity release.”
“A substantial proportion of this demographic is now accessing the wealth stored in their homes to facilitate a more enjoyable and fulfilling retirement. Our customers are increasingly using equity release for home improvements, gifting to family members and holidays.
“Over the past three months we’ve seen new entrants to the market, innovative partnerships and welcome changes to the FCA’s affordability assessments. These developments are great news for the consumer and have no doubt helped to further boost equity release’s already surging popularity.”