Informing the Debate

Moving insights from the over-55s: what homes do they buy?

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The over-55s are an important and growing segment of the new-build housing market.

To better understand their needs, this research looks at the reasons why the over-55s move and what types of homes they buy. A number of features were found to be particularly important to these purchasers, including reduced maintenance, low running costs and the availability of warranty. When they moved, although many households downsized (39%), many either same-sized (33%) or upsized (28%) in terms of the number of bedrooms they had.

Overall, a large proportion of households (40%) in this study moved either down or up to a four-bedroom home, making this the most common home size purchased by the over-55s. The study demonstrates that the over-55s should not be stereotyped as people who are winding down to retirement and universally inclined towards the idea of downsizing or moving to specialist housing. Many are active people, who are prepared to use their wealth to pay to move to a larger home that meets their aspirations for space and flexibility.

However, for some, downsizing is a logical choice. It is suggested that more could be done, in terms of design, to make downsizing a choice of preference for those people who are interested in taking this step.

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