Shortage of suitable new homes a barrier to downsizing

Shortage of suitable new homes a barrier to downsizing

Estate agents are seeing a surge in inquiries about downsizing from retired homeowners – but also note a shortage of suitable new properties for downsizers to move to, according to research published by independent equity release advisor, Key.

The organisation’s research indicates that 1.4 million over-65s will consider downsizing in the next five years. Its nationwide survey found more than two out of five (44%) estate agents have seen a rise in inquiries from over-65s homeowners looking to downsize in the past year with the need to save money (80%) the biggest reason for selling followed by the desire for a more manageable home (78%).

However, the research suggests that downsizers can run into problems with finding suitable homes to move to. Around 77% of estate agents believe there is a shortage of homes for retired people to move to while 80% say there is a lack of homes suitable for those who are less mobile.

Dean Mirfin, Chief Product Officer at Key said: “There are substantial financial gains to be made from downsizing but estate agents suggest that it is unfortunately not the quick and straightforward process that many think with one in three downsizers giving up on sales in the past two years.

“Sales can take longer than expected because pensioners’ homes are not to the taste of some buyers or need major repairs.”

“Arguably, the bigger issue is that there is a shortage of suitable homes for sale for retired people. In turn that has a knock-on effect as retired homeowners don’t sell which reduces options for younger buyers.”

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