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Equity available in UK homes exceeds £650bn

  • South East overtakes London with largest potential equity release value at over £125bn


More than £650 billion of equity was available for release in UK homes in Q1 2021, the first time it has exceeded this milestone, analysis from Canada Life today reveals. This is an increase of £50 billion based on the previous quarter. 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 £650.7 billion1.


An increase in loan to values (LTVs) across Canada Life’s product range and a marginal increase in house prices can be attributed to the rise in the amount of equity available.


Higher house prices in the South East, London and the South West has driven this surge in potential available equity. The average price of a property in the South East is now £345k, creating £125bn of potential equity for the region or just over £110k per household, the largest available equity by region in the UK. This was closely followed by London which now has £123bn of potential equity or £161,276 per household. Property prices in Wales and Scotland have also witnessed the largest percentage growth in house prices in Q1, growing by 3.6% and 2.8% respectively. Wales now has almost £25bn of potential equity available, or just under £60k per household. While in Scotland just over £40bn is available, working out at £58k per household.


Homeowners in the North East and Yorkshire had the least amount of equity available, with £47,421 and £56,778 per household respectively.


Alice Watson, Head of Marketing, Insurance, Canada Life said: “The equity release market has shown great resilience over the last year and is continuing to thrive as more and more people see the benefits of accessing their property wealth in retirement. Homeowners across the country are seeing increasing strains on their personal finances whether that’s from redundancy, rising living costs or caring responsibilities. 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. Fewer people are able to follow the ‘traditional’ journey of retiring with a comfortable pension and no mortgage debt, and as a result, the retirement market is undergoing a significant change.


“Whilst releasing equity from a property remains a significant decision, personal finances are likely to continue being exacerbated by the pandemic and, with the right advice, equity release has proven it can help people to access their property wealth flexibly and safely.”



Full regional breakdown of available equity:





Potential equity release value available

Potential equity release value per household2


£40.7 bn


North East

£16.4 bn


Yorkshire and The Humber

£37.7 bn


North West

£55.3 bn


East Midlands

£40.1 bn


West Midlands

£48.8 bn



£24.9 bn


East Anglia

£74.0 bn


South East

£125.8 bn


South West

£64.2 bn



£123.3 bn


Q1 Total

£650.7 bn




  1. Source: Property values listed are based on Halifax’s quarterly house price index. The potential equity release value has been calculated using the maximum loan to value (as of October 2020) for a 70 year old for Canada Life’s Capital Select Super Lite product based on the average regional house price and ONS population statistics. This has then been weighted based on the English Housing Survey’s property ownership figures for those aged 55 or over - this was then applied to each region to calculate the proportion of properties owned by those aged 55 or over.