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Property-rich pensioners live in poverty

Pensioners are living below the poverty line despite the value of their properties rising by a total of £10bn over the past three months, equivalent to a £1,500 gain per retired homeowner.

Around 1.25 million pensioners still live below the poverty line, according to equity-release property developer Economic Lifestyle.

The national average property price gains in the first quarter have more than offset a £5.5bn loss on the same basis over the fourth quarter of 2004. Scotland has been the best-performing area, with pensioner homeowners seeing an average gain of £6,339 in property value, followed by Wales and the South-east. Properties in the South-west lost £2,706 in value with East Anglia and the North-east also performing poorly.

Economic Lifestyle managing director Mark Neal says pensioners own around £1 trillion of property and a survey by the group reveals nearly a million say they will consider equity-release schemes in the next three years.

Neal says: “Financially, many retired homeowners are continuing to feel the pinch of poor returns on investments and low pension provisions, but the increase in property values should be welcomed.”

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