More than half of British people's wealth is locked up in their homes, a study from Prudential has revealed, with as much as 55 per cent of equity lodged in the family homestead.
In 1996, only 42 per cent of household wealth was held in non-financial assets – a term used primarily to denote property holdings.
Instead, most wealth was held in life assurances, shares, savings and pensions funds a decade ago.
But the value of non-financial assets has grown by 12.8 per cent since 2001, in line with rising house prices, while the value of financial assets has risen by only 1.3 per cent over the same period.
Prudential's director for lifetime mortgages, Ali Crossley, described the results of the study as "good news for people who are considering using their property as part of their retirement planning portfolio, especially for those who will need to supplement their state and work pension".
But although the growth of home-based equity is good news for those in the homeowners' club, young people desperate to enter the magic circle are all too often frustrated in their ambition by the same pattern of house price growth.
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