There is almost £500bn of equity available for release in UK homes, analysis from Canada Life has revealed.

The figure, based on the latest Halifax quarterly regional house price index, reveal that the total amount of housing equity available to homeowners aged over 55 now stands at an estimated £499bn.

Driven by higher house prices in the South of the country, those in the South East have the highest amount of potential equity available, standing at £102bn – £90,142 per household on average.

Key: £1.47bn worth of property wealth released in first half of 2020

This is closely followed by London, with £96bn of housing equity (£125,883 per household), and the South West, where there is £51bn (£66,432 per household) in equity available to homeowners over the age of 55.

In contrast, homeowners in the North and Scotland had the least amount of equity available, with just £37,353 and £39,531 per household respectively.

Alice Watson, head of marketing, insurance, Canada Life said: “Over 55s now account for 30% of the UK population and 56% of households – and the concentration of wealth in UK property continues to rise.

“Property wealth has the potential to play a huge role in helping to meet the financial needs of those in later life – covering the cost of care, financing home improvements, or being used to improve quality of life.

“As an industry, it’s vital that we highlight how equity release can be used to meet these needs, and this is where advisers have a significant role to play.

“Not only are these professionals well placed to help customers find the best-suited product for their unique circumstances, but they can demonstrate the role that equity release can play as part of any retirement plan.”