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Homeowners are now focused on ‘using excess cash to invest in their property’

Investing in property is not a get rich quick scheme, but rather a long-term financial solution to building wealth, as any good buy-to-let landlord will know.

While rental yields are important to some landlords, others are more focused on capital growth in order to build wealth. But it would appear that a growing number of homeowners, including property investors, are now far more focussed on ploughing investment into their homes in order to pay down debt.

Fresh analysis by retirement mortgage experts Responsible Life shows that homeowners injected £271bn of equity into housing in the past decade — the first decade on record that Brits have not made a net withdrawal. 


Analysis of the Bank of England’s housing equity withdrawal data from 1970 to 2019 reveals Brits have injected £271bn of equity into their homes over the past decade. 

From 1970, when the records began, to the end of the 2000s, homeowners withdrew more equity than they injected in every decade. However, in the 2010s, the trend has completely reversed. 

The analysis shows the financial crash of 2008 was a turning point for equity withdrawal as, from June 2008 onward, it marked the first time there were 12 successive months with more equity injected into a property than withdrawn. 

Amount of housing equity withdrawn since the Bank of England’s data began: 


Equity withdrawn (millions)











Positive figures indicate more equity is withdrawn, while negative figures indicate more equity injected. Figures end at Q2 for the final year in each decade. 


The figures suggest Brits have become a nation of home improvers rather than movers and this change in behaviour can be attributed to homeowners becoming more conservative with their spending following the financial crash.

Steve Wilkie, managing director of Responsible Life, said: “The aftershocks of 2008’s financial earthquake continue to be felt in the property market.

“The financial uncertainty sparked by the crisis has created a generation of homeowners who are improvers rather than movers, using excess cash to invest in their property and pay down debt. 

“This has helped to contribute to the inertia being felt in the property market, where transaction levels have failed to bounce back since 2008.” 

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    The first sentence sums it up perfectly, done properly, learning to walk before you run, and not over borrowing BTL can work very well, much better than any private pension sold by those spivs in suits.


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