Downsizing is not always the best option for those wishing to free up the equity in their homes, a new report suggests.
Released by independent trade body Safe Home Income Plans (Ship), the document explained the properties owned by people over the age of 55 are often worth more than those purchased by other age groups.
However, in many parts of the UK, the extra costs involved with downsizing mean the move may not be worth it financially.
While retirees living in Devon would stand to release £6,361 in equity if they swapped to a smaller house, the figure is £11,735 for those located in Cumbria.
Andrea Rozario, director-general of Ship, said people should always weigh up their individual needs and financial situation.
She added that "equity release and downsizing should both be considered - they are not mutually exclusive and can work very well in conjunction".
There are three main types of equity release available - home reversion plans, sale and rent-back schemes and lifetime mortgages.
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Read about the types of equity release available