Half a million over 55s looking to move but think suitable homes aren’t there

An apparent lack of suitable housing is putting off half a million over 55s who would otherwise be moving according to a survey by YouGov – around 4% of the total population at that age.

The survey commissioned by the Homeowners Alliance and BLP insurance discovered 6% of homeowners age fifty-five or older say they have moved in the two past years and a further 19% have considered moving but not done so – the equivalent of more than 2 million homeowners

However older people say they are more likely to avoid doing so for emotional reasons than other buyers, with property prices less of a barrier.

When considering new build properties as an option, older homeowners see new builds as being particularly strong on low running costs (52%) but less likely to deliver on spaciousness of rooms (23%), the amount of available green space (23%) and providing living on one level (12%). Being near to amenities and good transport links are also aspects that are seen as less typical of new build homes.

Paula Higgins, Chief Executive Officer of HomeOwners Alliance, said: “The recent Brexit decision means we are now in the midst of uncertain times and new housing is likely to be a victim. Government needs to focus efforts on negotiating a European exit but they must not drop the ball in delivering new housing that meets the needs of last time buyers. House builders can’t be allowed to sit on their hands and land bank. The government needs to keep them building and building houses that meet the needs of last time buyers as well as first time buyers.”

Kim Vernau, Chief Executive Officer, BLP Insurance, said: “The issues highlighted by this survey that face last time buyers are as acute as those issues encountered by first time buyers. If we wish to provide the required quality of housing that addresses these concerns we desperately need an appropriate mix of well-designed homes alongside adequate local infrastructure to help address the current housing shortage.”

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