Over 55s can fund retirement with the £280k of equity in their home

Written by Oliver Wade

On average, over 55s have £283,206 worth of equity in their homes, according to the latest data from SunLife.

The data revealed that, on average, people aged 55 and over who own their own home have properties worth £290,659, with a majority of them owning their homes for over 20 years, with the average property bought in 1994. In 1994 the average home was worth £51,633, meaning an increase in value of a huge £239,026.

The vast majority (82%) own their homes outright, while those who do have an outstanding mortgage only have £55,044 left to pay, less than a fifth of the total value. These statistics illustrated that all of those surveyed have an average of £282,623 of equity sitting in their homes, and eight in ten have the full £290,659.

The firm also interviewed people in the 50s, 60s, 70s and 80s how much money they think they would need, on top of their existing income, to “feel comfortable for the rest of their lives”.

Overall, respondents believed they would require £114,436, while those between 50 and 59 said they would need more with an average of £180,741. Those in the 60s thought they would need £101,811 and those aged 70 and over said a lump sum of £93,801would be enough for a comfortable retirement.

Commenting on the findings, SunLife equity release service director Simon Stanney said: “This is a generation that are generally property rich and cash poor due to healthy increase in the value of their homes, but inflation eating away at pension pots and increased living costs.

“62% of those surveyed said they categorically did not want to downsize, which means the solution for the majority could be to unlock some of the value in their homes via equity release.”

Stanney concluded that equity release is becoming the “preferred choice” among people over 55 to fund their retirement, with equity release lending more than doubling over the past two years.

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