Nearly one quarter of Canadians are using their homes as a primary source of retirement income, according to new research, reports the Globe and Mail.

The results of Sun Life Financial’s annual “unretirement” survey indicate that 24 per cent of people across the nation agreed with the statement, “My residential real estate will serve as my primary source of retirement income.” Additionally, a further 17 per cent said they didn't know, while 59 per cent said they disagreed with the statement.

Kevin Dougherty, president of Sun Life Financial Canada, told The Globe and Mail he was throroughly suprised by the amount of Canadians who said they'd use their homes as a source of retirement income. He attributed this to the fact that many people lack pension plans at their jobs, or have insufficient savings, thus leaving home equity as their only option.

However, Dougherty added that homeowners should exercise caution, as real estate is among the more volatile asset classes, and cannot be relied on to sustain high values forever.

Are you looking to invest in property? If you like, we can get one of our mortgage experts to tell you exactly how much you can afford to borrow, which is the best mortgage for you or how much they could save you right now if you have an existing mortgage. Click here to get help choosing the best mortgage rate