Pensioners own property worth £775 billion

Nia Williams

September 8, 2010

This is according to new research from leading independent equity release adviser Key Retirement Solutions.

The research shows that homeowners aged 65-plus gained a collective £7.94 billion in the past three months despite the continuing fragility of the wider housing market due in part to weak mortgage lending.

But there were losers as well as winners with retired homeowners in the North of England missing out with pensioners in the North East losing an average £5,484 and those in the North West suffering a £1,643 drop.

The biggest winners were over-65 homeowners in Scotland who gained around £12,353 on average while pensioners in the South West were £3,713 better off.

Key Retirement’s figures show nearly 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 £125.392 billion while in the South East pensioners own £124.9 billion of property without mortgages.

However property wealth is spread throughout Great Britain with retired homeowners in the South West holding 15.38% of the total housing equity stock and a total of £119.164 billion.

Dean Mirfin, group director at Key Retirement Solutions, said: “The housing market is fragile with the ongoing squeeze on mortgage lending hitting growth. However over-65 homeowners generally own their houses outright and have not been as affected as the rest of the market. Even those pensioners who have seen prices fall are still literally sitting on riches.

“The over-65s own considerable property wealth which represents a massive investment success as they no longer have mortgages and will have bought more than 25 years ago.

“Their property wealth represents an increasingly important potential source of income particularly when other sources of retirement income are under pressure from low interest rates, rising inflation and falling annuity rates.”

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