Pensioner property wealth tops £800bn

Pensioners who own their homes outright have earned an average of £1,346 each from their houses and their total property wealth is now at its highest level since Key Retirement Solutions started monitoring the housing wealth of the over-65s in March 2010.

Its Pensioner Property equity Index shows over-65 homeowners now own property wealth of £807.249bn outright as house prices across most of the UK rose.

The growth in property prices is helping to drive the Equity release market which enables homeowners to release money from their houses – Key Retirement Solutions figures show £339.8m was released in the first three months of this year with the average customer taking more than £61,230 from their home.

Retired homeowners in London were the biggest winners gaining nearly £10,700 on average each in the past three months while retired homeowners in Eastern England are more than £4,290 better off and pensioners in the South West are £2,283 better off.

But there were sharp falls in some areas – over-65 homeowners in Wales saw their average property wealth fall by nearly £5,000 in the three months while Scottish pensioners lost nearly £3,900. Retired homeowners in the North West lost £966.

Key Retirement’s figures show more than 36.7% of pensioner property equity is owned by over-65s in London and the South East. In London over-65s own property without any mortgages worth £151.7 billion while in the South East pensioners own £145 billion of property outright.

More than 70% of pensioner property wealth is concentrated in London, the South East, the South West, the East of England and the North West.

Dean Mirfin, group director at Key Retirement Solutions, said: “Pensioner property wealth is at a new record high of £807bn as the housing market continues to grow, and average gains of more than £1,346 in just three months highlights that property wealth should be a major part of retirement income planning.

“Even homeowners in areas where prices have fallen still have considerable property wealth considering they own their homes outright and will have seen strong gains.

“Independent advice is crucial however when considering how to use property wealth to improve retirement income whether people are downsizing to a new home or releasing equity from their current home.”