The fact that house prices have risen for at the highest rate since 2016, according to Nationwide, could be welcome news for older homeowners, says SunLife.

This will help those who are relying on property wealth to fund their retirement.

Commenting on the rise in house prices, Simon Stanney (pictured), equity release director at SunLife, said: “Our Finances After 50 research shows that one in four homeowners over-50 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.

house price growth august

Nationwide: Annual house price growth up 3.7% in August

“Of those still working, 43% say they don’t think they will have enough money for retirement while 10% say they ‘don’t know’.

“Amongst those that are already retired or semi-retired, 15% don’t think they have enough money to last.”

However, SunLife’s data also revealed that homeowners over-50 have seen their homes more than double in value over the past 20 years, from an average of £113,365 in 2000 to £240,681 in July.

And, according to Nationwide, house prices rose by 2% from July to August and a further 0.9% month on month to September, meaning the average over-50s home could now be worth £247,704 on average.

Stanney added: “Our research shows that 20% of over 50s are planning to use their property to fund their retirement.

“Downsizing is one way to release the equity tied up in your home, but our survey reveals that more than half of older homeowners don’t want to move, so for those homeowners over 55 who need to boost their finances but don’t want to move, equity release can offer a solution.”

Stanney said: “With equity release, the money is tax-free, and you can use it for whatever you like once you have paid off any existing mortgage.

“For many, this will be to boost their incomes or maybe help family who may need financial support.”