Retired homeowners have seen their property wealth rise by over £1,000 in the past year despite ongoing housing market uncertainty, according to Key’s Pensioner Property Index.
Total property wealth owned by over-65s who have paid off mortgages is valued at £1.096 trillion – this is a fall from the £1,118 trillion recorded earlier in the year (February 2019) as the impact of market slowdown starts to be felt across the board. However on an annual basis (June 2018 to June 2019) retired homeowners still saw an increase of £5.445 billion, Key’s Pensioner Property Equity Index reveals.
Since Key started analysing the mortgage-free property wealth of the over-65s in 2010 retired homeowners have benefited from growth of 41% – a total of more than £316 billion – earning them gains of £67,000 in almost a decade.
Across Great Britain average gains for the over-65s in property wealth in the past year are equivalent to £1,160 each but the national average does not tell the whole story.
The biggest winners are over-65s in the West Midlands who are nearly £7,500 better off than a year ago with retired homeowners in Wales (£6,560) and the North West (£6,297) also recording strong gains in the past 12 months.
Retired mortgage-free homeowners in London, however, have lost more than £1,000 a month in the past year while over-65s in the South East and East Anglia have also seen property wealth values drop. Scottish retired homeowners saw property wealth slip slightly.
London and the South East still account for 34% of all property wealth held by retired homeowners despite the recent falls.
Will Hale, CEO at Key, said: “The ongoing uncertainty in the property market and the economy as a whole is having an impact on house prices but overall retired homeowners have still gained an average of more than £1,000 from their houses in the past year.
“Some parts of the country have experienced even bigger gains with the West Midlands, North West and Wales continuing to perform strongly. The basic fact is that no matter what happens month to month to house prices millions of over-65s will continue to hold considerable property wealth which can transform their standard of living in retirement and enable them to address a wide range of financial issues.
“Increasingly equity release customers are able to help their adult children or even grandchildren to pay for house deposits while also being able to sort out their own finances whether it is clearing debts or even paying off mortgages. Equity release is not right for everyone but it is clear that if your home is your largest asset you should take some time to assess what role property wealth can play in retirement planning. Speaking to a specialist adviser is key to making smart choices.”