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Homeowners over £300,000 better off than long-term renters

Anna Sagar
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Anna Sagar

Homeowners are up to £326,214 better off than those who rent over a 30-year period, according to an analysis of housing costs.

The net cost of renting privately for 30 years costs more than £474,000 compared to paying a mortgage over the same period which costs around £148,000.

Analysis by the Equity Release Council (ERC) found that those who own a home made lower total payments at £357,476, whereas total payments for those who rent privately ran to £474,461.

Homeowners also benefit from building up equity of £209,228 over the 30-year period.

The analysis assumes a two per cent rent rise each year and the homeowner initially taking out a 95 per cent loan to value (LTV) mortgage on a £220,000 home before switching to a 75 per cent LTV loan.

The council said many people viewed property ownership as crucial to their financial security later in life, with one in three of the 5,000 homeowners surveyed for the report stating they viewed their mortgage as an investment in their future.

It also found borrowers thought it was more acceptable to have a mortgage later in life, with 40 per cent of those surveyed believing it was becoming more normal and 57 per cent saying they were interested in accessing money from their homes as they age.

The report also noted 20 per cent of those surveyed who were in their sixties were using their pension savings to pay off their mortgages.

ERC chair David Burrowes said that those who attained property ownership in their working lives had “extra confidence and flexibility” financially and equity would be vital for their financial wellbeing in the future.

He said: “While today’s homebuyers are borrowing larger sums for longer, they are also building considerable equity which can help meet future needs for themselves and their families. Perceptions of debt in later life are changing, and property wealth is transitioning from having been the ‘emergency fund’ to an enabler of life ambitions and financial goals. This fundamental shift means products, advice, policy and financial education must also keep evolving, so more people can savour the experience of longer lives.”

Chief executive Jim Boyd added: “This trend places significant responsibility on industry, regulators and government to support and enable safe access to property wealth, while also addressing the barriers to homeownership that risk exacerbating social division and fair outcomes across generations.”

The council called for further product development and product flexibility in later life products to meet changing customer needs and emphasised the role of using equity release to transfer wealth between generations.

It added that the government should follow through on its promise to transform generation rent into generation buy as more than half of people who were not yet homeowners felt it was unrealistic.