Property news roundup: The average pensioner made £7,100 on the value of their home last year

Plus fees and first time buyers

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The Independent Online

Pensioners who own their homes outright have earned nearly £600 a month from their houses says a new report which suggests that their property wealth is at its highest level since 2010.

The average retired over-65 homeowner has gained more than £7,100 in the past year from their house, according to over-55s financial specialist Key Retirement Solutions whose Pensioner Property Equity Index shows over-65 homeowners have property wealth of £801  billion, an increase of more than £33 billion in the past year due to increasing UK house prices.

Retired homeowners in London were the biggest winners with their properties up more than £41,200 on average in the past year while Scottish pensioners were £8,553 better off.

Meanwhile, over-65 homeowners in the North East saw their average property wealth fall by £708 in the past year and those in the North West by£722. Gains in Yorkshire and Humberside were just £8.

Fees and first time buyers

New figures from Money Advice Service show that 55 per cent of first time buyers had a nasty shock when they discovered the total bill for buying their home  on top of the mortgage was higher than they expected by around £1,300. 

Three quarters of recent first-time buyers identified solicitor’s fees as costs they would need to budget for, but only around a half had thought about Stamp Duty. Under a quarter of new homeowners said they had remembered to budget for removal fees.

Shared Ownership Plus

Thames Valley Housing  has launched a new shared ownership model which allows shared owners to own one per cent more of their property each year for 15 years. Kush Rawal, Assistant Director at TVH, said: "The scheme encourages staircasing immediately as it eliminates transaction costs traditionally occurred when buying more equity in shared ownership, such as valuation, solicitor and re-mortgaging expenses."