Most over-55s have no intention of downsizing

Ryan Bembridge

July 25, 2016

thinking old

Three in five (58%) over-55s have no intention of downsizing despite calls for more family-sized properties to be made available, a My Home Move survey has revealed.

A quarter (25%) would consider downsizing, although they said the biggest barriers to moving were the right kind of properties being available and the cost of moving such as stamp duty.

Doug Crawford, chief executive of My Home Move, said: “The housing market has been suffering from a lack of stock for over 12 months, causing demand to outstrip supply time and time again.

More than a third of over-55s still have mortgage

“This has resulted in sky-high house prices, instances of gazumping increasing and the Bank of Mum and Dad being called upon regularly to help first-time buyers with their deposit.

“Unfortunately, the findings from our survey suggest the situation is unlikely to ease.”

Crawford added: “Despite the changes to stamp duty in 2014, the costs involved in moving can still tally into the thousands.

“This is especially true since the introduction of the 3% surcharge for additional properties.

“For those on a fixed income or heading towards retirement, it is not surprising that the financial reality is a stumbling block.”

“We have seen stamp duty holidays for first-time buyers in the past, so there is no reason the government couldn’t extend a similar scheme to downsizers, to help free up the market and get transactions moving.”

Nearly half (46%) of would-be downsizers would like to move into a bungalow, however just 2% of new builds being registered were bungalows in 2015.