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Over-55's remaining in unsuitable family homes due to lack of suitable housing

Over-55's remaining in unsuitable family homes due to lack of suitable housing
Age is just a number, apparently. Well, not when it comes to property, according to new research from Legal & General.

Astonishingly, the huge number of homeowners over the age of 55 could see the raft of property they own reach a huge £1trillion this year.

Currently the over-55s, dubbed 'Last Time Buyers' by the L & G research, own £938 billion of UK housing stock, but most own homes that are too substantial for their needs.

Indeed, according to the report 39% of the LTB market are considering downsizing, although 49% of that group said they hadn't due to a lack of suitable properties available and 29% claimed they had stayed put because properties that did meet their needs were simply too expensive.

That would suggest those homeowners falling into the LTB age group are remaining in unsuitable family homes due to a dearth of suitable housing stock.

So what does it all mean? Well, according to L & G, it is this LTB bracket that holds to the key to unlocking the UK housing market, which, as we all know, has flatlined in recent months.

'If rightsizers were able to move to a property more aligned to their desired lifestyle and needs, vast swathes of homes would be freed up for growing families and second steppers,' said Phil Bayliss, head of later living at Legal & General.

'This, when matched by the huge health benefits proven to come from age appropriate housing, such as a 50% reduction in GP visits and 40% reduction in NHS spend, means that increasing the number of properties available to these buyers is the most efficient way to help solve the UK's housing crisis and spiralling NHS costs linked to our ageing population.'

Shaun Cafferty, Director of Whitegates Crewe, said: 'In South Cheshire we have found that many older people are perfectly happy and comfortable in the homes that they have enjoyed for many years. Improvements in medical care mean that they are able to cope for a longer period with garden and house maintenance, and manage stairs.

'In prosperous market towns like Nantwich, very few new bungalows are being built, so there is also a shortage of suitable places for them to move to. Although we have sold some barn conversions which often provide good quality single-storey accommodation with low maintenance gardens.'

If you're thinking of downsizing, or are just looking for a more suitable property for your needs, you can view all available properties from Whitegates or speak to one of our branches who will be happy to help.