Over-55s raid own homes to beat cost-of-living crisis

LONDON: Soaring house prices have handed the over-55s an extra dollop of equity in just three months, according to a new analysis by Canada Life, based on Halifax figures.

Londoners have spare equity averaging £178,680, followed by homeowners in the South East at £126,278 and East Anglia at £108,732.

Homeowners in the North East and Yorkshire had the least amount of equity available, with £54,489 and £65,385 respectively.

Canada Life head of marketing Alice Watson said the over-55s increasingly see their property as part of their retirement income, rather than a completely separate asset. “Equity release has a valuable role to play in helping today’s homeowners enjoy retirement,” she said.

Older homeowners are expected to withdraw more than £4billion worth of equity this year, according to research from advisory firm Key.

Andrew Morris, senior equity release adviser at Age Partnership, said homeowners facing a deficit in their retirement income should consider equity release to generate tax-free cash: “It is available to homeowners aged 55 and over, with a home valued at £70,000 or more.”

The money can be released as a lump sum or as smaller sums, with the money and interest repaid when you die or go into long-term care.

It will not be right for every situation. Morris added: “Other options include a retirement interestonly mortgage, downsizing, working later in life or help from family.”