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September 9, 2010    

Property rich retired Britons ripe for equity release

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by Gill Montia

Retired British homeowners have total property wealth of up to £775 billion, according to equity release firm, Key Retirement Solutions, with research also suggesting they have gained a collective £7.94 billion in the past three months alone, despite the fragility of the UK housing market.

The biggest winners over the summer months were retired homeowners in Scotland, who gained around £12,353 on average, while pensioners in the South West were £3,713 better off.

However, there have been losers too; Key’s Pensioner Property Equity Index estimates that retired homeowners in the North East lost an average £5,484, while those in the North West suffered a £1,643 drop.

The figures also show that while property wealth is spread throughout the UK, nearly a third of property equity is owned by pensioners in London and the South East of England.

The company’s group director, Dean Mirfin, comments: “The over-65s own considerable property wealth which represents a massive investment success as they no longer have mortgages and will have bought more than 25 years ago.”

He adds: “Their property wealth represents an increasingly important potential source of income particularly when other sources of retirement income are under pressure from low interest rates, rising inflation and falling annuity rates.”

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