25 Jun

Over-65s keen to downsize are struggling to find suitable homes

More older homeowners looking to downsize and become “last-time” buyers are struggling to find suitable properties.

For many, the potential financial gain from selling a larger property is not high enough to fund a purchase, while there is a serious lack of homes that are appropriate for the needs of older home movers.

In a study by specialist financial advisor Key Retirement, almost one in three (30 percent) of homeowners aged 65 and over are considering downsizing within the next five years to a more suitable property. That equates to a potential 1.45 million home movers.

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Worry grows over maintaining property

However, the same research reveals that more than 620,000 homeowners aged 65 and over have explored the idea of downsizing but can’t find a suitable property locally. And another half a million pensioners have considered downsizing but say they would not be any better off financially.

More than half (53 percent) of over-65s say they worry about being able to maintain their home as they age and become less physically able; and more than a quarter (27 percent) struggle to pay for the repairs and maintenance their home needs.

Almost one in five (17 percent) say they are living in a property that is too big for them.

Of those quizzed for the Key Retirement research, 11 percent said they have already downsized: pensioners in the north-west and south-east are those most likely to have moved into a smaller home.

Pensioner property wealth tops £1 trillion

Dean Mirfin, chief product officer at Key Retirement, said: “Downsizing should make financial sense for older homeowners as it releases money to pay for retirement, and it also should make sense for the property market as a whole as it frees up bigger houses.

“But despite the numbers of older homeowners wanting to downsize, it is clear they face problems in finding suitable homes for retirement, and for many, the finances just don’t add up.

“Unfortunately, that leaves them struggling to maintain home and, in many cases, struggling financially.

“Pensioners are sitting on property wealth of more than £1 trillion, which could significantly improve their standard of living in retirement, and helping them make the best use of that money would boost their finances and the economy as a whole.”

Instruct a conveyancing solicitor through Homeward Legal

Any pensioner who has already found their perfect downsizing property can make their retirement dream a reality by instructing a conveyancing solicitor through Homeward Legal. We work with specialist property lawyers across England and Wales to offer an instant conveyancing quote that’s transparent in its pricing.

Talk to our team now on 0800 038 6699 for a no-obligation quote.