£740bn in equity available for release in Q3

An estimated £740.5bn of equity was available to UK homeowners over the age of 55 during the third quarter, new analysis from Canada Life has revealed.

This is the first time the figure has exceeded this milestone and represents an increase of more than £10bn when compared to the previous quarter.

The figures were based on the latest Halifax quarterly regional house price index and showed the average price of a property in the South East is now £360,000, creating £143bn of potential equity for the region, which is the largest available equity by region in the UK. This was closely followed by London which now has £136bn of potential equity.

Property prices in Scotland, the East Midlands and East Anglia saw the largest growth in Q3, growing by 2.8%, 2.4% and 2.2% respectively. Scotland now has over £45bn of potential equity available, or almost £66,000 per household, while in the East Midlands there is now over £46bn available, equating to over £76,000 per household, and in East Anglia there is almost £85bn of available equity, leading to £108,000 available to release per household.

Canada Life’s findings showed that house prices in the North West saw no change after increasing by 3.4% the previous quarter, while London actually saw a small decline of -0.1%.
Despite this, London still has the highest levels of average equity available at £178,680 per household. The capital is followed by the South East (£126,278) and East Anglia (£108,732).

Homeowners in the North East and Yorkshire had the least amount of equity available, with £54,489 and £65,385 per household respectively.

Canada Life head of marketing, insurance, Alice Watson, commented: “With the exception of a very minor decline in London, house prices are continuing their almost relentless growth across Britain which we can see mirrored in the available equity.

“As a result, households across the nation are looking at property wealth in a different way. To see them as a contributing part of their retirement income rather than a completely separate asset.

“The diverse nature of equity release products mean that they can be used to meet a range of evolving needs. Whilst releasing equity from a property remains a very significant and individual decision it has a valuable role to play in helping today’s homeowners live the retirement they’ve worked long and hard for. With the right advice, equity release has proven it can help people to access their property wealth flexibly and safely.”

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