Research reveals downsizing trend
Published on 21 August 2013 11:30 AM
More investment has been urged in 'affordable well-designed homes' for older people, as a survey revealed many are seeking to downsize.
Research from Prudential showed that 73% of the 10.4 million older people in the UK own their property but 26% expect to sell, principally for reasons of raising cash or helping to make life easier.
Of those expecting to put their house on the market, a large majority (81%) anticipate purchasing a new home.
The Prudential said this means around 1 million properties will be involved in transactions by retired people, with a huge sum of money being released overall due to downsizing. On average, the sum raised by moving to a smaller home is said to be £62,000.
Some 73% of older people wanting to sell up are seeking to find a cheaper home with fewer rooms.
For 23% of them, the equity raised will help improve their retirement income, with 13% sorting out debts and 8% needing to fund basic living costs.
Quite a large number of retired home owners will not be keeping all the money raised, with 22% still having a mortgage to pay off.
Nearly half (48%) of those seeking to downsize said their main motivation was to enjoy a simpler life, with 22% saying that raising money was the key aim and 11% citing cutting bills.
Many older people still have limited housing options
Michelle Mitchell, charity director general at Age UK, said the Prudential figures show that for many older people 'the option to downsize is a sensible choice offering many positive benefits'.
However she warned that there is a 'growing disparity' in housing wealth - depending on where in the country people live - meaning that many older people still have limited housing options.
'We need further investment in affordable well designed homes, in the right locations, to meet their requirements - as well as offering practical help with moving,' Ms Mitchell said.
She also urged older people to get independent advice to ensure that they are able to make an informed choice based on their particular circumstances.
Copyright Press Association 2013