Agent calls for downsizing to be made easier for more ‘last-time buyers’

A retirement property specialist is calling for encouragement for a ‘last-time buyer’ movement to alleviate the housing shortage and make downsizing easier after a 25% drop in applicant registrations by older home owners looking to move.

While much of the focus of the property market is on getting people on the property ladder, Retirement Homesearch says the older generation needs help to make the leap to downsize.

The firm’s research found while the UK’s younger generation sees themselves moving into a retirement property at 65, those aged between 55 and 64 say this won’t actually happen until they’re 70 with only 6% of over 65s surveyed having already downsized or moved to a specialist home.

Almost half (48%) cited finding the right property as a barrier while two thirds highlighted issues with excess belongs and 34% noted the emotional strain of leaving a family home.

Being close to family and amenities was the main factor when choosing a retirement property.

Issues in the retirement market were highlighted by the agent recording a 25% drop in new buyer registrations last year and viewings, sales and instructions were down 14%, 4% and 7% respectively.

Nick Freeth, managing director of Retirement Homesearch, said: “What the data clearly shows is that navigating through the retirement property market to find a home that is right for you is hard, especially when added on top of the stress that moving property already brings.

“Efforts to pay more attention to the factors which are important to people looking to downsize and increase the amount of specialist retirement properties on offer could go a long way to ease the pressure Britons are faced with when making this decision.

“What’s more, our latest quarterly review figures show the knock-on effects of last year’s political turmoil and economic uncertainty, with new buyer registrations down 25% and sales down 4% compared to the previous year.

“As the UK is now faced with housing shortages and under-occupied family homes, it is more important than ever before that we encourage the ‘last-time buyer’ movement and incentivise the older generation to take the leap.”


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