Equity Release 

Average UK property could fund seven years care

Average UK property could fund seven years care

The average house price of £243,000 could be used to fund more than seven years of residential care, according to Just Group.

New research from Just Group has analysed the regional variations in care and property costs across the UK to see how many years of care individual’s property could buy.

It found the average house price of £243,128 in the UK could pay for 7.52 years of residential care and 5.46 years of nursing care.

The average house in London, priced at £463,283, could fund 12.25 years of residential and 9.46 years if nursing care, this compares to a house in Scotland (£149,461) being able to fund 4.23 years of residential and 3.42 years of nursing care.

With billions of pounds tied up in the value of retired people’s homes, property is expected to be used to make up a significant proportion of an individual's social care funding in later life, according to Just Group.

But according to the Land Registry, property prices vary across the UK, for example, the average house price in the North East (£123,046) is substantially less than in London (£463,283).

Also, according to a report from LaingBuisson’s, published July 2018, the cost of residential care also differs by more than £200 a week (£11,180 a year) throughout the country, with the lowest average weekly charges in the North West at £523 a week and the highest in the South East at £738. 

Nursing care costs vary even more costing £688 a week in the North East compared to £1,039 in the South East and £1,001 in London. 

Stephen Lowe, group communications director at Just Group, said: “Most working people prioritise buying a house and it is often their most valuable asset. Under current rules, that value has a crucial role in helping people afford care they might need in the future. 

“It provides peace of mind to put in place your own plans. That will mean talking with friends and family about what you would like to happen. The Society of Later Life Advisers website is also a good place to start, while a specialist financial adviser can also provide invaluable help. 

“These conversations should help with working out how to meet the cost whilst still retaining some financial control. For example, there are products such as an Immediate Needs Annuity, which can help those with assets avoid the risk of losing all their wealth in care fees, but very few customers know about them.”

Region

Average house price

Years of residential care funded

Years of nursing care funded

Scotland

£149,461

4.23

3.42

Northern Ireland

£134,811

4.56

3.77

Wales

£158,696

5.27

3.89

North East

£123,046

4.17

3.44

North West

£159,471

5.86

3.79

Yorkshire & Humber

£162,129

5.51

4.01

East Midlands

£190,171

6.16

4.75

West Midlands

£196,571

6.5

4.34

East of England

£286,611

8.15

5.51

London

£463,283

12.25

9.46

South East

£318,491

8.3

5.89

South West

£253,752

7.31

5

England

£242,964

7.46

5.22

UK

£243,128

7.52

5.46

Just Group’s care report 2019, published last month (June 11), found that out of 1,000 savers surveyed, who were aged 45+, the number who said they were not interested in the debate about who should pay for care had nearly tripled in the past year, to 17 per cent.

The vast majority (88 per cent) admitted they had not thought about care, planned it or spoken to other family members about the issue. This figure dropped to 68 per cent among the over-75s.