Downsizing – An end to the housing crisis?

With property being snapped up quickly in sought after locations and a very real housing crisis happening, there is a new focus on older people who are living in large properties that they no longer utilise. In fact, statistics say that there are over 3 million people in the UK who are over 55 and looking to downsize – but what exactly is stopping them?
First and foremost is the lack of suitable smaller property for older people. Only 2 per cent of all housebuilding completed in the UK is designed for pensioners and therefore, with nearly 33 per cent of over 55s considering a move to downsize, the figures just don’t add up.

The impact of changing the habits of house builders from building starter homes to retirement homes could release £820bn worth of property back onto the market and allow 3.3m people to downsize. This could have a very real impact on the housing crisis.

Apart from the positive effects downsizing can have on the economy and on the housing market, what benefits can the person or couple who are going to downsize look forward to?

There are many up sides – reduced maintenance costs, sometimes as much as £1,000 a year, reduced gas and electricity bills and less council tax to pay are some of them. In addition, by downsizing there may be the opportunity to top up or subsidise a pension with the additional money from the house sale.

Alongside the financial and economic benefits, it is worth remembering that there is an emotional side to selling a family home. If you have raised your family in your home and lived there for many years it can be a big change to move on and call somewhere else home, both for you and for your children.

There is the additional worry of downsizing many years of belongings, memories and even furniture that may be too big to fit in your new property.
This may be a real challenge for you emotionally, however it could be very financially rewarding and enable you to enjoy your future more fully.

If you have any property questions, please call Sarah Gratton in our Warminster office on 01985 214444 or  email sgratton@mulaw.co.uk and we will be delighted to help you (there is no charge for initial telephone discussions).