Lack of faith in pensions causes 3.2 million to put hope in property, says Baring Asset Management

01 October 2007
3.2 million Brits are putting their hopes for a comfortable retirement in the hands of the property market due to a lack of faith in pensions, according to research from Barging Asset Management.

The study revealed that seven percent of all UK adults are putting themselves at risk from fluctuations in the property market and interest rates without any other plans in place in the instance that things go badly.

Marino Valensise CIO of Baring Asset Management, urges people to plan more carefully for their retirement: “Too many people are relying on property to fund their retirement. It’s crucial that we plan for our old age and that our investments are diversified amongst a number of different asset classes - not just property.

“The UK has seen an incredible increase in wealth in the last 20 years, fuelled, in part, by rising house prices in both nominal (gross of inflation) and real (net of inflation) terms; one factor has been the easier access to borrowing. It is highly unlikely that, during the next decades, we would experience similar levels of property price increases, especially in real terms.

“The events of the summer are already beginning to feed through to the average UK consumer in the form of higher borrowing costs based on more stringent lending criteria. This is likely to have an impact on the property market.”

The age group leaving themselves most vulnerable are 23 per cent of those between 35 and 44, compared to eight per cent of 45 to 55 year olds and six per cent of 25 to 34 year olds.”

The study also revealed that 33 per cent of Britons are currently not making any provisions whatsoever for their golden years, including one in four 35-54 years olds, and 22 per cent of those already over the age of 55, for whom retirement is imminent.

The research also revealed a considerable gender gap, as 38 per cent of women do not have a pension, compared to 27 per cent of men.

“Placing all your eggs in one basket in this manner really does leave you overly exposed to house price movements” Mr Valensise added. “Your pension should be invested in diversified assets that are in line with your age, lifestyle commitments and number of years to retirement.”

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