Over-65s saw their property wealth increase by more than £9,200 each on average in the past year as the housing market benefited from strong demand partly driven by the temporary stamp duty holiday, research from equity release adviser Key shows.

Total property wealth owned by over-65s who have paid off mortgages is valued at £1.224trn and has increased by £46.135bn in the past year equivalent to a gain of £9,214 for homeowners, Key’s Pensioner Property Equity Index reveals.

Key’s data shows over the long-term their gains have been even more impressive. Since Key started analysing the mortgage-free property wealth of the over-65s in 2010 homeowners have seen growth of 57% – a total of more than £444bn which is equivalent to £88,735 per household in the past decade.

property wealth equity release

Over 65s earn £9,200 in a year from their homes

The biggest gains in the past year have come in London where over-65s homeowners are more than £21,000 better off over the year while pensioners in the South West have gained £15,618 and over-65s in the South East are more than £10,000 ahead. The only region to see property values drop was Wales with losses of nearly £2,000 the year.

The South East accounts for a fifth of all property wealth held by the over-65s with the South West and East Anglia accounting for nearly a third. London, which has the wealthiest over-65s homeowners, only accounts for 10% due to lower numbers of over-65s owning homes outright.

Will Hale, CEO at Key, said: “The property market has performed strongly despite the economic uncertainty caused by the pandemic with the Stamp Duty holiday on homes worth under £500,000 providing a material boost to demand.

“However, the stamp duty holiday is due to end on March 31 and continued uncertainty around the economic environment may mean that the housing market is set for period of increased volatility.

“However, short or medium-term volatility in the housing market does not change the basic fact that millions of over-65s retain considerable property wealth which can transform their standard of living in retirement and enable them to address a wide range of needs and wants.

“Equity release is one way that older customers can tap into their property wealth. Demand for later life lending products has remained strong throughout the coronavirus crisis and with an increasing number of options available it is vital that customers seek specialist advice in order to find the product that best fits their individual circumstances.”