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  • Writer's pictureThe Cedar Crest Team

More over-55s have no plans to downsize

Updated: Nov 22, 2021

Older homeowners decide to stay put.

THE IMPACT OF COVID-19 has clearly changed the mindset of many older homeowners.

There has been an uplift in those who want to keep hold of their home.

Over time, priorities can change, and it is only natural that over the course of the last 18 months people have grown closer to their local community, valued having family nearby and enjoyed having the space to relax while in lockdown.



Of course, the decision to move home is a big one, particularly in later life, and there are practical considerations, as well as emotional ones.

Research still suggests many over-55s are open to the idea of moving, but the number of homeowners in this age group looking to downsize in the near future has dropped by 200,000 in the last three years, according to research[1].

A property is often our most valuable asset and deciding not to downsize presents a potentially difficult situation if the funds are one day required to supplement retirement, or gift money to a family member.

According to the Office for National Statistics, the total property wealth amongst the over-50s is estimated to be £3.8 trillion[2], with three quarters (74%) of those aged 55 and over in the UK owning their own home[3].



The drop in over-55s considering downsizing means that over the course of the last three years, there has been a growing trend in ‘Forever Homeowners’, who now want to stay put.

The 2.9 million older households who may sell their home still hold considerable property wealth, with the current value of the housing stock in Great Britain standing at £767 billion.

However, this is a drop from £938 billion when the analysis last took place[4].

While some ‘Forever Homeowners’ have made their mind up not to sell, others impacted by the pandemic are keen to reassess their decision in the near future.

Nearly a quarter of over-55s who haven’t sold their home stated that they would still consider downsizing but want to see how their financial situation develops before deciding (12%) or are uncertain about the housing market currently (10%).

Source data:

[1] Opinium Research for Legal & General ran a series of online interviews among a panel of 2,000 UK adults, of which 603 were homeowners aged 55+, from 23 July to 27 July 2021.

[2] Office for National Statistics, Wealth and Assets Survey

[3] Office for National Statistics, English Housing Survey 2019/20

[4] Last Time Buyer Report 2018



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