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Retirees’ property wealth risen over past 12 months

3 September 2020

Retirees’ property wealth has risen over the past 12 months, despite the housing market going into lockdown amid ongoing economic and political uncertainty, new data from Key has shown.

Total property wealth owned by over-65s who have paid off mortgages increased by £28.3 billion over the past year, the equivalent of £6,032 per homeowner.

The biggest gains were in London, where homeowners were found to be nearly £26,000 better off over the 12-month period, while those in the South West gained £9,600 and the South East more than £7,600. The only property to see property wealth decrease for over-65s was the West Midlands.

According to Key’s Pensioner Property Equity Index the total value of property owned by over-65s peaked at £1.13 trillion at the start of 2020, but has fallen by more than £9 billion over the past quarter as the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic took hold.

Will Hale, CEO, Key, said: “The property market has suffered along with the rest of the economy during the coronavirus crisis and effectively shut down for months. Coupled with the ongoing political and economic uncertainty of the past few years, it has gone through a turbulent time.  However, property values seem to have remained relatively buoyant and with the current stamp duty exemption, we are likely to see continued interest from buyers.

“Against this backdrop, we find millions of over-65s who have repaid their mortgages and are sitting on considerable unencumbered property wealth but may find that their retirement funds are not quite as healthy as they hoped.”

Hale added: “The equity release market has seen a slowdown as people take their time to decide how best to use their wealth in retirement but the number of customers looking to explore their options remains high demonstrating the ever-increasing need for expert advice in this area.”

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