Cash in the attic? Older Britons could fund a happier retirement by unlocking property wealth
• Over 50s have £2.27 billion in property wealth
• Only a fifth of over 50s know how much their home is worth
Britons struggling to achieve a comfortable retirement could be blissfully unaware that they’re sitting on a goldmine – as many people over 50 don't know the true value of their property, a poll* has revealed.
In a poll of 11,700 over 50s by the Saga Equity Release Advice Service, a third (31%) of homeowners said they view their property as a way to fund care in later life, while a quarter see it as a source of income for their retirement.
Despite this, just a fifth of people over 50 say they have arranged a professional valuation of their home. When people do estimate the value of their home around half will look at property websites, while almost two thirds take their chances on property pages, using their own judgment to tag an approximate value on their property.
Given the recent growth in the property market and the lack of knowledge about the value of their home, many homeowners could be in for a pleasant surprise.
Saga estimates that around £70 million in ‘hidden value’ may have been added to the homes of the UK’s over 50s in recent years. Statistics show that the property wealth of older people has increased from £2,198 billion in 2011 to £2,270 billion in 2013.**
Andrew Strong, CEO Saga Personal Finance, commented: “It seems many over 50s could be blissfully unaware how much their property is worth. With a professional valuation and a few simple steps, they could unlock the value of their homes and enjoy a much more satisfying retirement, and also plan for their longer term care needs or even arrange that preheritance for the children whist you can still see them enjoy of your generosity.”
He added: “The Saga Equity Release Advice Service can provide the specialist advice and information you might need. Products used by the service are sourced from a range of providers who are members of the Equity Release Council.”
Notes to editors:
*Populus interviewed 11,780 Saga customers, all aged 50+, online between 13th and 27th February 2014. Populus is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules.
**Centre for Economics and Business Research, 2013