Home-ownership in old age: financial benefit or burden?

Ruth Hancock, Janet Askham, Helen Nelson and Anthea Tinker

Is home-ownership in later life an assert or a liability, a financial benefit or a burden?

This study analyses the financial costs and benefits of owner-occupation in later life using data on the levels of housing wealth, housing expenditure and financial resources of today's older home-owners. Two key questions are addressed: What are the current housing costs of older owner-occupiers and how does this compare with older people living in other forms of tenure? Can owner-occupation provide a usable capital asset as well as meeting housing needs in later life?

The researchers explore the relationship between housing wealth, income and other financial wealth in later life. They highlight how Housing Benefit reduces the cost of renting compared with owning for low-income older people, analyse the potential for housing wealth to alleviate poverty in later life through equity release, and explore housing as a form of saving in old age.