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Half of over-55s want more suitable housing options for older people

Jessica Nangle

February 25, 2021

later life mortgage

As the Spring Budget approaches next week, the latest research from Audley Group has revealed that 48% of over-55s want more suitable housing options for older people compared to 38% of all age groups.

The research also detailed that 42% would like greater support for older people who want to downsize their property.

The need for more suitable housing is set to grow, with recent figures from the International Longevity Centre (ILC) showing that the supply of retirement housing will need to be boosted by over a third to meet demand by 2040 and 8.8% growth will be needed by 2025.

In addition to highlighting this research, Audley Group is also calling for a phased approach to the end of the stamp duty holiday rather than a hard stop in June as rumoured, and reform to the social care system.

Audley Group say that the housing market will not withstand the shock of immediate cancellation of the stamp duty holiday and the social care system is in need of fundamental reform.

Nick Sanderson, chief executive of Audley Group, said: “Whether the stamp duty holiday ends in March or June, the housing market won’t easily withstand the shock of an immediate cancellation.

“Buyers and sellers will still be left in limbo, just twelve weeks later.

“The policy was implemented to get the market moving and if the Chancellor wants this to continue, it needs to be phased out gradually rather than a hard stop.

“The stamp duty holiday has succeeded in some parts of the housing market but not all of it.

“The Chancellor must use the Budget to also acknowledge the need for more targeted measures.

“Specific support for those downsizing or moving into housing with care is one area that could have a significant impact on the whole housing market, but has been largely neglected.

“And finally, many will call on the Chancellor to support a social care system that has borne a significant brunt of the difficulties caused by the pandemic.

“A system that was already underfunded and creaking as our population ages.

“But I challenge that thinking.

“Some short-term support might be necessary, but it isn’t the Chancellor and his Budget that can make the systemic change needed to reform the system from the ground up.

“The only feasible solution is reducing the need for care within the UK. This involves a more holistic view of social care for older people.

“We, as a nation, need to change the narrative around social care services and make them a last resort, and instead, improve the planning system to facilitate the building of more suitable housing, with care and wellbeing services attached.

“Only this will take the intolerable pressure off hospitals and residential care.”


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