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Three in four over-65s own their home outright

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12/02/2020
Property wealth is likely to play an increasing role in funding retirement as we live into older age
Three in four over-65s own their home outright

Almost three-quarters of people aged 65 years and over in England now own their home outright, according to official government figures.

This group includes the first to benefit from the “right to buy” initiative, which saw social housing stock sold at reduced prices from the 1980s, and boosted home ownership.

The English Housing Survey, published this week by the Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government, also found that younger people are less likely to own their own home than in the past and more likely to be renting.

In addition, it noted that only half of people in their mid-30s to mid-40s had a mortgage in 2017, compared with two-thirds 20 years earlier.

A significant minority of older poeple rent their homes. The percentage of older people in the social rental sector has halved since the early 1990s, from 32% to 16%, while the percentage renting privately has remained low, staying at around 6%.

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Jim Boyd, CEO of the Equity Release Council, the trade body for equity release providers, said: “The UK is ageing rapidly and few can be surprised that (74%) of people aged 65 and over own their own homes. For those facing a shortfall in retirement income, debt or care costs this provides them with a lifeline as they try and make sense of the financial choices open to them.

“Over the past decade a combination of an ageing population and home ownership among people in later life has resulted in the equity release market evolving into a mainstream financial services product, with tens of thousands of customers now using increasingly flexible products backed by robust safeguards to make future financial plans.”

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