One in three will use property wealth to boost retirement income

Jessica Nangle

January 31, 2020

Nearly one in three people retiring this year plan to use their property wealth to help boost their retirement income highlighting the growing importance of property in retirement planning, new research from Key has shown. 

The study looked at over 1,000 people expecting to finish full-time work in 2020 showing they own property worth more than £142.5bn with an average of £388,900 each.

Key’s ‘Retirement Class of 2020’ research shows that 30% of people retiring this year will use their property wealth in retirement.

Nearly half (46%) will look to downsize to a smaller property while 23% will consider equity release or remortgaging.

The nationwide study found 40% property owners say they are happy with their expected retirement income and do not need to consider their property wealth.

The biggest reason for not using property wealth in retirement is the desire to leave an inheritance to family, with 16% of homeowners want to leave the house to their family.

However, 15% are worried about borrowing money and a further 15% do not want to move.

Other reasons for not using property wealth in retirement include concern about the reputation of equity release (8%) and fear of making a mistake (6%) the research found.

Over-65s have more than £1tn pounds worth of unmortgaged housing equity and Key has launched a new marketing campaign to encourage people to get answers to questions they may have around equity release.

Will Hale, chief executive at Key, said: “Property wealth is established as a major factor in retirement planning with one in three people retiring this year looking to the money invested in their home as a way of supplementing their income.

“With people retiring this year owning homes worth an average of £388,900 and total property wealth of £142bn there clearly is a lot of wealth that could be used in retirement.

“Many will not need to use their home as part of retirement planning, but it is worrying if people are not taking property wealth into consideration due to a lack of awareness of the options available to them or as a result of myths or misconceptions about products.

“Our research shows many are worried about borrowing money or moving to a new house while others are concerned about making mistakes.

“These customers could benefit from information and advice when assessing their options for using property wealth and, while equity release is not right for everybody, modern lifetime mortgages with low rates and flexible features such as the ability to service interest or repay capital mean that they offer potential solutions for a wider range of customers than ever before.”

People are expecting to retire in London are the most likely to use their property wealth in retirement and have the most wealth on average at £661,900 each.

Those in East Anglia are the least likely to use property wealth to boost retirement income.

Sign up to our daily email