House price winners and losers since 2000
On average, homes have made £127,316 in 20 years, according to a survey by SunLife.
The financial firm asked 1,000 people in their 50s 60s and 70s about when they bought their homes, how much they paid and how much they’re worth now.
London homeowners made the most, with prices up by £211,000 from £145,714 to £356,577 since 1998, a rise of 145%.
Outside of London, the over 50s who have seen their homes rise the most in value are those in East Anglia; the average over 50s homeowner in the region bought their home 21 years ago for £123,501 and has seen that climb in value to £302,038, an increase of £178,537, or 145%.
In the North West older homeowners saw a huge 154% rise in house values, from £78,571 to £199,239.
The lowest rise was in the North East where property values are up £54,000 over 20 years (64%). Scotland homeowners saw a 73% rise, from £84,523 in 2001 to £138,403 now.
Below is the average percentage increase in the regions over the last 20 years, according to SunLife’s survey:
Region – % increase
Scotland – 73%
Wales – 75%
Northern Ireland – 109%
North East – 64%
North West – 154%
Yorks & Humberside – 117%
East Midlands – 84%
West Midlands – 110%
East Anglia – 145%
South West – 88%
London – 145%
South East – 114%
Unlocking property wealth
The research highlights that many older homeowners have a considerable amount tied up in their homes, and most (72%) are mortgage-free.
However, many are struggling financially and have concerns about the future; one in four say they are worse off than they expected to be at this time in their lives and are worried their money will run out before they die.
One solution is to sell and either downsize, or move to a cheaper area, to access that cash, but over half of over 50s simply don’t want to move, said Simon Stanney, equity release director at SunLife.
“The most common reasons why over 50s don’t want to move are because they love the area they live in,” he explained, “they are close to friends and family and their homes hold too many memories. Other reasons include the fact that moving is too stressful and expensive.”
For those over 55 who have equity in their homes, need to boost their finances but don’t want to move, equity release could offer a solution.
It allows you to access the value tied up in your home without having to move, but it is complex and independent financial and legal advice is highly recommended.