Will the downsizing initiative boost the property market?

Proposals for a downsizing initiative to free up space for younger buyers has been met with significant support.

In a recent survey commissioned by Equifax, just under half (46%) of respondents stated that they would back government plans to encourage older homeowners to downsize, in an attempt to free up homes.

Focussing on the lack of available homes for younger buyers, the recently published Housing Whitepaper highlighted potential ways to ease the supply shortage, including encouraging the older generation to downsize. Acknowledging that there are barriers to people moving from their family homes, the white paper suggested various initiatives aiming to reduce obstacles such as costs and emotional ties. These included measures to increase the level of sustainable options available to older people, as well as improving information and access to advice.

Of those who took part in the survey, the proportion of respondents who expressed support of these initiatives (46%) was greater than those who did not (40%). With a proportion of 65%, the data revealed that those between the ages of 18 and 24 years old were most in favour of the suggested governmental measures.

Commenting on the figures was Lisa Hardstaff. The credit information expert at Equifax expressed a lack of surprise over the different generations having varying attitudes towards the initiatives.

“This latest research has provided a strong insight into the current feelings of people at different stages of the home ownership ladder. It is perhaps not surprising that the younger people who responded to the survey have said that they would support an initiative which meant that more homes would be free for them.

“This insight is particularly interesting when looking at reports which show that a typical ‘last time buyer’ lives in a four-bed house but wants a two-bed property, and that almost a third of older homeowners have considered downsizing in the last five years but only 7% actually did.”

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