Average UK retired homeowner’s property wealth increased by £3,152 in the past year

Jessica Bird

April 22, 2020

property wealth equity release

Despite the impact of political and economic uncertainty, retired UK homeowners have seen their property wealth increase by an average of £3,152 in the past year, according to analysis by equity release adviser Key.

Key’s Pensioner Property Equity Index found that the total property wealth owned by over-65s who have paid off their mortgages is valued at £1.133tr, and increased by £14.78bn over the past year.

The total value of pensioner property fell to £1.096tr in early 2019 before recovering in the autumn and reaching £1.132tr.

Since Key’s analysis began in 2020, retired homeowners have benefited from a property wealth growth of 45%, equating to nearly £354 billion.

This amounts to an average gain per person of £75,000 in the past 10 years.

Broken down by region, pensioners in Wales have seen average gains of £11,700 over the past year, followed by the West Midlands (£8,165), East Midlands (£5,799) and North West (£4,355).

The only region to suffer a substantial drop was East Anglia, where retired homeowners were in fact £3,276 worse off on average over the year.

Homeowners in the South East saw more marginal value falls of £149.

The South East accounts for nearly a fifth (18.9%) of all property wealth held by retired homeowners.

Will Hale, CEO at Key, said: “Political and economic uncertainty hit the housing market last year, but there were genuine signs of recovery towards the end of last year and retired homeowners who no longer have mortgages were big beneficiaries.

“Interestingly, it was the over-65s in Wales who made the biggest gains – seeing the value of their property increase by nearly £1,000 a month – while those in East Anglia and the South East saw modest falls.

“While it is useful to be aware of market fluctuations, what happens on a monthly basis is unlikely to alter the simple fact that millions of over-65s retain considerable property wealth which can transform their standard of living in retirement and enable them to address a wide range of financial issues.

“Increasingly, we are seeing people choosing to access property wealth in retirement and using modern lending features to suit their individual circumstances.

“Choosing to use drawdown rather than lump sum and to repay the interest rather than letting it roll up make these products even more flexible and attractive than before.”

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