The issue of a lack of suitable properties for older homeowners to retire to, thus freeing up family-size homes, should be addressed in the next few years. Research by real estate giants Knight Frank has revealed that the number of homes built specifically for retirees will increase substantially by 2022.
Its research shows that 16 retirees who want to downsize are currently chasing each existing private retirement property, emphasising the dire shortage of homes for retired people.
Knight Frank has produced a retirement housing report that says the private retirement property market will have a value of £44 billion by 2022, up by 50 percent from its current value. More importantly, it will have delivered an increase of almost 30 percent on the number of available units for sale or rent.
UK's population is ageing
However, the report also notes that the UK's retirement age population is expected to rise by a fifth to 12 million within a decade, thanks to people living longer. That means pressure to find a suitable home to live out their golden years will increase for many people.
It suggests three million retirement living properties are currently needed to meet the current demand for the number of over-65s who want to sell up and move into a smaller home.
Research earlier year by independent equity release specialists Key said a third of homeowners over the age of 65 want to downsize, but most cannot find a new home that suits at the right price.
Downsizing makes financial sense
Key said more than 620,000 retired homeowners have looked into downsizing but couldn't find a suitable home in their area, while another half a million told Key they'd thought about moving but would not be better off financially if they did.
Dean Mirfin, Key's chief product officer, 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.
"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."
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