New research from Retirement Advantage has revealed that the UK’s over-55s have seen their potential property wealth through equity release swell by 4.6% during Q1 to reach £378bn.
According to the report, although the South East and Greater London continue to dominate the regional list for most housing wealth available, property values are increasing faster in other parts of the country.
The highest annual growth in property wealth was seen in East Anglia, a rise of 23.5%, followed by the South East (15.2%) and Greater London (21.6%). Greater London saw the greatest quarterly increase in property value (7.5%), followed closely by Scotland (7.1%) and East Anglia (6.5%).
The Equity Release Council’s Spring Report found that sector lending grew at its fastest rate in H2 2015 since 2008. Total equity release lending hit an annual high of £1.61bn in 2015, up 16% from 1.38bn in 2014.
Alice Watson, product and communications manager at Retirement Advantage Equity Release, said: “As property wealth among over 55s across the country continues to rise, we are seeing rapid uptake of equity release products. That being said, we still have a long way to go to ensure that people approaching retirement are aware of all their options.
Despite the increasing popularity of equity release, our research shows that less than 1% of the potential wealth available to over 55s across the country is being accessed. We expect to see that figure surging over the coming months, with people now taking an increasingly holistic approach to financial planning for their later years.”