Home owners in Britain aged 65 and over have effectively earned almost £1,000 a month over the last six months from their properties, new research shows.
It means that retired home owners’ property wealth increased by £28 billion over the period to a new record high of £1.118 trillion, according to the pensioner property index from equity release advisor Key.
Owners in Yorkshire and Humberside recorded the biggest increase at £8,607, followed by those in Wales at £7,875, the North West at £7,546, all better than the national average of £5,889.
In Scotland the average growth was £5,499, in the North East of England it was £4,103 and in East Anglia it was £3,133 while in London the growth was just £1,655 over the whole of the six month period.
Since Key started analysing the un-mortgaged property wealth of the over 65s in 2010, retired home owners have seen growth of nearly £340 billion in property wealth, equivalent to an increase of 43%.
‘The numbers are fascinating but the basic fact is that no matter what happens year to year to house prices many over-65s will have considerable property wealth which can transform their standard of living in retirement and help family members,’ said Will Hale, Key’s chief executive officer.
‘Increasingly equity release customers are able to make substantial gifts to family members including their adult children or even grandchildren with money being used to clear debts, fund university fees and pay for house deposits and weddings. Customers can also use the money to age proof their own homes and preserve wealth for the family,’ he explained.
‘While equity release is not right for everyone, it is clear that if your home is your largest asset in retirement, you should take some time to think through when and if you might need to access this wealth,’ he added.
The average increase in property wealth over the six months was also strong in the East Midlands at £7,527, and the West Midlands at £7,376 as well as £6,328 in the South West and £6,103 in the South East.