Retired homeowners not accessing property wealth

Most pensioners are not drawing on wealth tied up in the value of their homes to help fund retirement, according to research by the Institute for Fiscal Studies.

House values account for the largest part of pensioner wealth outside of a pension pot, with 80% of over-50s owning their own home, worth an average of £150,000.

The majority of homeowners are not accessing this wealth, instead keeping their home throughout retirement and eventually passing the value on to younger generations as part of their estate.

Downsizing is one way homeowners could release housing wealth, with many tempted by the incentive of being mortgage-free if they were to move into cheaper and smaller accommodation.

However, around 60% of homeowners over 50 are not expected to move house.

Those who do choose to move don't tend to be motivated by financial reasons, instead making the decision to be closer to friends or family, for health reasons or to move to a better area.

The report also found wealth was being kept in second homes rather than being sold to finance retirement, as ownership of second homes increased among those in their late 50s to late 60s.

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