Home ownership among over-65s on the rise

The level of home ownership among people aged 65 and over reached 78.7% in 2018/19, reflecting a sustained rise from 71% in 2003-04, according to new figures released in the English Housing Survey.

The research showed that owner occupation rates had remained unchanged for the sixth year in a row, and that of the estimated 23.5 million households in England, 15.0 million, or 64%, were owner occupiers.

The English Housing Survey is a continuous national survey commissioned by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government.

Commenting on the latest figures, group communications director at Just Group, Stephen Lowe, suggesting the rising level of home ownership among the over-65s was ‘interesting’ because most other age groups – particularly the younger ones – had seen falls over that timescale.

“In fact, home ownership rates are closer to record lows than record highs for ages other than the over-65s,” Lowe said.

“However, the report notes that the general fall in home ownership levels since the turn of the Millennium has levelled off and has been stable at around 63% since 2013/14, buoyed by a recent rise in the proportion of 25 to 34-year-olds owning homes.

“Home ownership is important because it helps to underpin finances in later life. Only about one in 20 over-65s who own their homes are still paying mortgages and this has reduced, suggesting most people are able to pay off their loans before retirement. Conversely, the proportion in the rented sector has fallen meaning fewer are facing continued rent payments into later life.

“That gives them more scope to use that accumulated housing wealth in later life to support their lifestyles and financial goals, either by downsizing or by releasing equity, whether that is to provide a higher level of income, meet future care costs, or pass on funds to the next generation.”

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