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Pensioner property wealth increases despite housing market uncertainty

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Total property wealth owned by the over-65s has reached £1.13trn, up £14.78bn in the past year, despite the impact of political and economic uncertainty on the housing market.

This is equivalent to a gain of £3,152 for the average retired homeowner who has paid off their mortgage, according to analysis by equity release adviser Key.

The long-term gains have been even more impressive. Since Key started analysing the mortgage-free property wealth of the over-65s in 2010, retired homeowners have benefited from growth of 45% – a total of nearly £354bn. This equates to gains of £75,000 for every homeowner in the past 10 years.

The biggest winners in the past year were the over-65s in Wales who have seen gains of £11,700 while retirees in the West Midlands (£8,165), East Midlands (£5,799) and the North West (£4,355) have also done better than average.

The only region to suffer substantial falls was East Anglia where retired homeowners are £3,267 worse off over the year. Homeowners in the South East saw marginal price falls of £149 over the year.

Will Hale, chief executive of Key, said: “Political and economic uncertainty hit the housing market last year but there were genuine signs of recovery towards the end of last year and retired homeowners who no longer have mortgages were big beneficiaries.

“Interestingly it was the over-65s in Wales who made the biggest gains – seeing the value of their property increase by nearly £1,000 a month – while those in East Anglia and the South East saw modest falls.

“While it is useful to be aware of market fluctuations what happens on a monthly basis is unlikely to alter the simple fact that millions of over-65s retain considerable property wealth which can transform their standard of living in retirement and enable them to address a wide range of financial issues.”

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