Retired homeowners have gained £45.7bn in property wealth in the past year despite housing market worries, analysis from equity release adviser Key has found.
Total property wealth owned by over-65s who have paid off their mortgages is near a record high of more than £1.1 trillion, with average homeowners making around £812 a month since May last year.
Dean Mirfin, chief product officer at Key, said: “Retired homeowners continue to see the benefits of property investment with average gains of £9,741 in the past year.
“Whatever the short-term changes in house prices, many over-65s have considerable property wealth which can make a huge contribution not only to their standard of living in retirement but also the financial wellbeing of family members.
“We are seeing an increasing number of customers choosing to gift some or all of the proceeds of equity release to help loved ones in a variety of ways, for some this is helping children or grandchildren take their first step on the housing ladder, for others to pay for expenses such as weddings.
“In many cases though it is just to help them with money at a time when they need it most. Equity release is increasingly benefitting the whole family.”
Over-65s in the East Midlands have been the biggest winners, with their property wealth climbing by nearly £1,170 a month but pensioners in West Midlands (£1,002), Scotland (£989) and East Anglia (£973) have all seen significant gains and no areas have recorded price falls.
The long-term investment success of home ownership is underlined by Key’s index –since the group started analysing over-65s housing wealth in 2010 retired homeowners have seen growth of 41%, or £320bn.
Over-65s in the North West are most likely to own outright, with 671,000 having paid off mortgages compared with 656,000 in the South East.
However nearly a fifth of all property wealth held by retired homeowners is in the South East.