Pensioners are property rich

Homeowners aged 65-plus lost a collective £5.2 billion in the past three months – equivalent to £832 each – as the continuing squeeze on mortgage availability hit house prices, Key Retirement Solutions’ Pensioner Property Equity Index shows.

But there were winners with retired homeowners in the East of England, Scotland and Wales benefiting. Average over-65 homeowners in the East of England gained £2,062 in the past three months while Scots pensioners were £2,544 better off and Welsh over-65s made £45.

The biggest losers were over-65 homeowners in London who saw housing equity fall by £2,625 while those in the East Midlands suffered a £2,394 drop.

Over-65s homeowners have still seen growth in their total property wealth this year – when Key Retirement launched its index in March over-65s homeowners had total equity of £765.18 billion.

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 £124.4 billion while in the South East pensioners own £123.8 billion of property without mortgages.

Dean Mirfin, group director at Key Retirement Solutions, said: “It is almost impossible to call the trend in the property market currently with the lack of mortgage availability making it very difficult for buyers.

“However it is clear the over-65s own considerable property wealth which represents a massive investment success as they no longer have mortgages and will in most cases have bought more than 25 years ago.

“Their property wealth represents vitally important potential source of income and over-65s can unlock as much as £72,507 on average. This at today’s annuity rates could alternatively produce an annual income for life of £4,725. When pensioner household incomes before tax are around £21,112 that is a 22% increase which could have a dramatic and positive effect on standards of living.”