7 Feb

family home

Why older homeowners can't bear to leave the family home

Older homeowners are reluctant to downsize even when their family home is too big for them and they could cash in on its value.

New research by insurer and equity release specialist SunLife also revealed that a third of homeowners in their 50s, 60s, 70s and 80s leave their departed child’s room exactly as it was when they moved out, failing to reclaim the space.

However, one in 50 confessed they waited less than 24 hours before getting to work on redecorating or rearranging the now freed-up bedroom.

Lure of equity release

The SunLife Home Sentiment report showed that 62 percent of older homeowners say they would not consider selling up and moving to a smaller home, in spite of the lure of freeing up cash by downsizing.

Simon Stanney, equity release director at SunLife, said: “On average, people over 55 have seen their homes increase in value by around £135,000, so for people over 55 who own their own home and are looking for a cash sum but don’t want to leave the family home, unlocking some of the value in their homes via equity release rather than by moving could offer a solution.”

Stanney said the responses indicated how strongly people can feel about a family home.

Keeping it in the family

He added: “We know that keeping the home in the family is really important to people, and this research backs that up.

“It is common for parents to want their grownup kids to be able to come back to the family home, and nearly a third feel so strongly that they even keep their child’s old bedroom for them even though they’ve moved out.”

The Home Sentiment report revealed that the most popular uses for a child’s old room once they moved out is as a guest room, followed by a storage spot, room for grandchildren, study and hobby or art space.