Retired homeowners’ property wealth rises £3,150 in a year

Retired homeowners have seen their property wealth increase by more than £3,150 in the past year, despite the impact of political and economic uncertainty on the housing market, new analysis from Key has revealed.

The equity release adviser found the total property wealth owned by over-65s who have paid off mortgages is valued at £1.133trn and has increased by £14.78bn in the past year – equating to a gain of £3,152 for average retired homeowners.

Key’s Pensioner Property Equity Index also revealed the total value of pensioner property had fallen to £1.096trn in the early part of last year before recovering in the autumn. Key described the gains since the autumn as “modest” but suggested retired homeowners have still seen strong year-on-year increases.

Furthermore, Since Key started analysing the mortgage-free property wealth of the over-65s in 2010, retired homeowners have benefited from growth of 45% – a total of nearly £354bn – which the adviser highlighted had earned them gains of £75,000 in the past 10 years.

Key CEO, Will Hale, 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.”

Over-65s in Wales saw gains of £11,700 while retired homeowners in the West Midlands (£8,165), East Midlands (£5,799) and the North West (£4,355) had also done better than average, the Index showed.

East Anglia was the only region to suffer substantial falls, where the data showed retired homeowners were £3,267 worse off over the year, while homeowners in the South-East saw marginal price falls of £149 over the year.

The South-East still accounts for nearly a fifth (18.9%) of all property wealth held by retired homeowners despite the slight drop, while East Anglia is the fourth-wealthiest region in terms of mortgage-free property held by over-65s.

Hale added: “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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