Canada Life has revealed that over £600 billion of equity was available for release in UK homes in the final quarter of 2020.
This is an increase of £15 billion based on the previous quarter and the first time it has exceeded this milestone.
The figures, 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 £600.5 billion.
Canada Life said that higher house prices across the South West, South East and London have driven this surge in potential available equity. A property in London is now reaching an average price of £519k, creating £117bn of potential equity for the region or £153,199 per household. The largest available in the UK. This was closely followed by the South East which now has £116bn of potential equity or £102,492 per household.
Property prices in the South West and in Wales have also witnessed the largest percentage growth in house prices in Q4, growing by 3.6%. The South West now has almost £60bn of equity available, or £76,932 per household. While in Wales there is over £20 billion of potential equity release available or £53,128 per household.
Homeowners in the North East and Scotland had the least amount of equity available, with £43,773 and £52,019 per household respectively.
Alice Watson (pictured), head of marketing, insurance, at Canada Life, said: “The world is changing around us and many homeowners are seeing an increasing strain on their personal finances. In these cases, property wealth may serve as an important source of later life funding. The diverse nature of equity release products mean that they can be used to meet a range of evolving needs, while offering a combination of certainty and flexibility.
“The substantial concentration of wealth in UK property and our increasingly competitive product loan to values means there’s now more equity available to release for those looking to access money from their home. As a result, equity release could play an even greater role in retirement as the over-55s look for financial security in later life.”