Residential care home bills costing between £50,000 and £93,000 eating up half the value of homes in some areas

20th March 2017

The typical person entering residential care will face total bills of between £50,000 and £93,000 depending on where they live according to research from Royal London. Variations in house prices around the UK mean that this could amount to anything from 18% to 56% of the value of the average house.   For residents in the North East of England, where the average house price is just under £129,000, an average stay of thirty months in a residential home costing £554 per week would eat up 56% of the value of their home.   By contrast, for those living in London where the average house price is around £484,000, thirty months of average residential care costs of £666 per week would only account for around 18% of the value of that property.  For most people in later life, their family home is likely to be by far the largest asset on which they will need to draw to meet care costs.

The length of time for which someone stays in a residential home can vary widely, and for those with the longest stays, the total bill can exceed the value of the typical house in several parts of the UK. Based on academic evidence which shows that 10% of residential home residents have a stay of 6.5 years or more, for residents of Wales, Northern Ireland and four English regions (North West, North East, Yorkshire and East Midlands) such long-stayers could face a total bill in excess of the value of the average home.

Full results for Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and each English region for average stays in residential care homes are provided in the table:

Residential care costs
House Price    Weekly Total(130 weeks) Total cost as %
of house price
Wales £148,177 £548 £71,303  48.1% 
Scotland * £141,553 £385 £50,050 35.4%
N Ireland £125,480 £512 £66,614 53.1%
North West £152,259 £500 £64,959 42.7%
North East £128,631 £554 £71,993 56.0%
East Midlands £176,790 £557 £72,406 41.0%
London £483,803 £666 £86,612 17.9%
South East £316,026 £710 £92,266 29.2%
Yorkshire £154,985 £544 £70,751 45.7%
East of England £281,513 £699 £90,887 32.3%
South West £242,808 £613 £79,716 32.8%
West Midlands £181,328 £561 £72,958 40.2%











*In Scotland, the Scottish government will meet the part of care home bills relating to social care, and so the proportion of the value of a typical home taken up will be lower than in the rest of the UK.  The figure shown here is net of the social care contribution from the Scottish government.

Debbie Kennedy, head of protection at Royal London said: These figures are a shocking reminder of the huge costs which growing numbers of us will face if we need residential care later in life.   Even an average stay in a care home can eat up half the value of your home, depending where you live in the country.   The whole system is a lottery and we need to find better ways of supporting people to cope with these large and unpredictable bills”.

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