Save, make, understand money

Household Bills

More than one in 10 over-55s are looking to move home in the next year

Nick Cheek
Written By:
Nick Cheek

Around 15% of over-55s are looking to move home in the next year, with downsizing cited as the most popular reason for the change.

According to a survey from Paragon Bank, which collected views from 2,800 Brits aged 55 and over, around 48% of those looking to move said that they were looking to downsize.

This was followed by around a quarter looking to cut the running costs for their home and a similar figure wanted to move closer to family.

Other factors included moving to a property better suited to their physical needs (22%) and 17% wanted to move to a more rural area.

Obstacles to moving home

However, Paragon said that many respondents felt that there were barriers to moving, with 17% saying that these were preventing them from moving.

This included a lack of alternative property at 12%, wanting to keep property in the family at 7% and financial benefit not being sufficient at 5%.

Around 19% of those aged between 55 and 64 were looking at moving, falling to 16% of those aged between 65 and 74 and 12% those aged from 75 to 84.

The majority plan to buy outright at 84%, while 5% are looking at retirement villages and 3% intend to rent.

Over half would use proceeds of a property sale to buy another property, while 40% would put it into savings, a quarter would use it for living costs and 17% would financially gift it.

‘Lack of suitable property a notable barrier’

Derek Sprawling, Paragon Bank’s savings director, said: “Nearly three quarters of the UK’s housing equity sits with people aged 55 or over and often these properties are too large for their needs.

“Our research shows that 15% of people in this category are in the process or want to move home, with downsizing the most common reason.”

He continued: “However, there are also notable barriers to moving home, with a lack of suitable property being the most common reason given, plus not wanting to relinquish a family home and the financial benefit not being big enough.

“Those that are planning to move would use the proceeds from the sale to buy another home, although one in four would also use it to bolster their savings. People doing so should consider what savings accounts would offer them the best returns and not just rely on the rates offered by their incumbent banks.”