The latest findings from Prudential’s Equity Release Index reveals that despite falling house prices, homeowners aged 65 and over still have billions in equity remaining – over 40 per cent of which belongs to those living in London and the South East.
The average homeowner aged over 65 in the South West saw the value of equity they have in their home fall by £6,117, the highest decline for any part of the UK. This was followed by £2,964 in the North East and £2,645 in the South East. Homeowners in London saw the equity in their homes increase by an average of £954.
Prudential director of lifetime mortgages Keith Haggart says: “Although most retired homeowners have seen the value of equity in their homes fall in recent months, it’s important that they don’t lose sight of the bigger picture which is that despite current falling property prices, in the vast majority of cases retired homeowners have built up a significant amount of equity in their homes over a number of years.
“This, together with the rising cost of living means that many more people are now looking to release equity from their homes to maintain or improve their standard of living in retirement.”
Fair Investment says this equity could be used to hold up “pathetic pensions”.
Fairinvestment.co.uk chartered financial planner Sharon Bratley says: “The increased interest in equity release is hardly surprising given the current financial climate. Pensioners are finding it tough and releasing equity from property may be the only way to survive through retirement for some.”