A majority of Britons now consider their home to be their best financial investment.
Research conducted by lender GMAC RFC shows 72% believe their home is their best investment while just 35% believe it to be individual savings accounts (Isas), and 24% believe it is their pension.
The research also examined expected returns from investments in the longer term. Over half ‘ 57% ‘ believe their home will provide a better return over five years, compared with just 19% for Isas and just 10% for stocks and shares.
However, Charles Ansdell, corporate relations manager at IFA Inter-Alliance, commented: ‘In property investment terms there are returns, but also signs of market saturation. Commercial property in general has seen rents go down significantly, as well as a high non-occupancy rate. In our view, the timing is wrong for investing in property and, while equity markets are in a trough, the prudent should be buying into equities now.’
The poor opinion of Isas, coupled with a fear of remortgaging being troublesome, has led to many people cashing them in to pay for house improvements. The research found 53% would rather use their Isa to fund home improvements, while less than a third would remortgage.
Gina Collman, head of corporate communications at GMAC RFC, said: ‘People think it is easier to cash in an Isa than it is to remortgage. Figures from the CML say 38% of lending last year was for remortgaging, but our figures suggest it is a case of a few people remortgaging frequently. This is where intermediaries can be of assistance to clients, by explaining that remortgaging does not have to be a difficult or time-consuming process.’