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Property is best investment you can make

If you want to build your wealth in the short-term, the easiest way to do so is by saving more money but property is best investment you can make!

If you want to build your wealth over a number of years, many investors argue that you should invest in property, with plenty of evidence available to show that this rather low-risk investment pays off over the long-term.

New analysis by Key Retirement found that total property wealth owned by over 65s who have paid off their mortgages is now worth £1.054trn, with average retired homeowners making £29,010 in the year to May, which suggests that more than £127bn was collectively added to the average property.

Key Retirement’s Pensioner Property Index, which tracks the amount of equity held in property by people over 65 years old in Great Britain, reveals that East Anglia saw the biggest growth in the past year, and retired homeowners in the region are now £56,138 better off – the equivalent of almost £4,700 a month.

Over 65s in the South East and South West saw gains of more than £40,000 each, while retired homeowners in the West Midlands made almost £40,000.

According to Key’s index, over 65s housing wealth in 2010 retired homeowners have seen growth of 35%, or £274bn, which illustrates the long-term success story of property ownership.

Key’s Pensioner Property Equity Index shows that despite a fall in total property wealth over the past year, retired homeowners in London still own £172.65bn of property wealth.

The long-term financial benefits of owning a house is underlined by average equity release payouts of £73,610, and as much as £117,000 in the capital. But Key’s index reveals that home prices across all the regions monitored have dropped in the past three months.

Dean Mirfin, technical director at Key Retirement, said: “Owning a house has been a major investment success for retired homeowners and the average gain of £29,000 demonstrates the contribution property wealth can make to retirement planning.

“Pensioners who have paid off mortgages have been able to rely on consistent tax-free returns from their homes, no matter what the impact of historically low interest rates and market uncertainty has been.

“Whatever happens in the property market homeowners will always have a major asset that can make a major contribution to their retirement standard of living whether it is generating extra income or capital to help loved ones.”

The table below shows the detailed picture across Great Britain

Average change in value of home equity for homeowners aged 65+ 
Combined change in value of home equity for homeowners aged 65+ 

Region (between May 2016 and May 2017 index) (between May 2016 and May 2017 index)
South East +£44,785 +£29.379bn
London -£63,043 -£23.074bn
South West +£43,137 +£27.029bn
North West +£34,232 +£22.969bn
East Anglia +£56,138 +£26.497bn
East Midlands +£35,994 +£15.521bn
West Midlands +£39,765 +£14.252bn
Yorks/Humbs +£27,765 +£8.013bn 
Scotland -£22,059 -£6.221bn
Wales +£25,525 +6.754bn
North East +£24,717 +£6.797bn
GREAT BRITAIN +£29,010 +£127.92bn

The table below shows over 65s in the North West are most likely to own outright with 671,000 having paid off mortgages compared with 656,000 in the South East.

Region Estimated property equity in homes owned outright by people aged 65+ (May 2017) Estimated percentage of total value of property equity belonging to people aged 65+ (May 2017) Number of households in the region owned outright by people aged 65+
South East £204.353bn 19.38% 656,000
London £172.658bn 16.38% 366,000
South West £150.523bn 14.28% 626,600
East Anglia £130.804bn 12.41% 472,000
North West £100.818bn 9.56% 671,000
East Midlands £75.983bn 7.21% 431,200
West Midlands £64.617bn 6.13% 358,400
Yorks/Humbs £43.176bn 4.10% 288,600
Scotland £38.673bn 3.67% 282,000
Wales £39.093bn 3.71% 264,600
North East £33.632bn 3.19% 3.19%
GREAT BRITAIN £1.054trn  4,409,400

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