Report identifies a down sizing trend in UK property market

23rd July 2014

Report identifies a down sizing trend in UK property market

A trend for down sizers is in the UK residential property market on the increase and set to continue over the next few years, it is claimed.

According to latest figures from Strutt & Parker's recent Housing Futures survey, some 52% of home owners between the age of 70 and 79 consider the need for a smaller home to be a key factor for moving house in the next five years.
It's a similar story for other age groups with 39% of home owners between 60 and 69 thinking about downsizing, and 22% of 50 to 59 year olds.

‘There is no doubt that downsizing is a consistent trend. Some 72% of the people we surveyed are planning on moving in the next five years,’ said Stephanie McMahon head of research at Strutt & Parker.

The UK has a housing shortage, however, we are also a nation of under occupiers and the move towards smaller homes will stay constant or increase over the coming years as the large group of UK baby boomers move into retirement and beyond,’ she explained. 

According to Prudential, there are over two million downsizers which fit into the over 55s baby boomers category, often with grown up children owning properties worth in excess of £750,000. Rightmove has similarly profiled this generation as equity rich and cash poor, often looking to help family members by freeing up funds. 

‘With the UK economic confidence returning, downsizers are sensing now is a good time sell after years of hesitating during the recession. Many are moving house to better suit their evolving needs both in terms of space and finance, or shrinking to share, save and spend,’ said James Mackenzie, head of the Country House Department at Strutt & Parker. 

The firm says that this fresh stream of property for sale created by downsizers could ease current housing pressures by increasing supply and restricting further house price rises. ‘With average property asking prices remaining static between May and April, this trend may already be in motion,’ it concludes. 

Local Southgate resident Liz Storey says, "Downsizing can be very cathartic. Throwing away lots of clutter you don't really need but have kept for years because you had all those spare rooms to store it in, frees up your  living space and your life. All the items you are left with are truly wanted and will be cherished.

When your children have fled the nest it is nice to have a small home full of items just for you that's easy to clean, maintain and lock up when you go off on your well earned travels and won't feel empty when you return."