Moving Insights: over-55’s


According to a research report conducted by the National House Building Council Foundation (NHBC), older buyers over 55 are nearly as likely to upsize instead of downsize when buying a new home.

The report stated that 46% of the over-55s that were surveyed had spent more money on their most recent house move and that 40% had selected a four bedroom house, even when it’s only occupied by two people.

This research is taken from a sample of nearly 1500 homeowners aged between 55 and 74 who moved into their existing new build home between 2010 and 2016. During this period, 39% downsized to a property with fewer bedrooms, about a third moved to a property with the same number and 28% upsized to a property with extra bedrooms.

The results differ from the premise that many older homeowners downsize to smaller homes that free up the larger homes for younger, bigger families.

This demographic accounts for about half of all homeowners and around 330,000 property moves a year.

So why are new build homes appealing to over-55s?

  • Low running costs
  • Low maintenance gardens
  • Low maintenance & overhead costs
  • New home warranty

Due to these advantages, older buyers are 20% more likely than younger buyers to buy a new build home instead of an existing home. Despite this, over 55s feel as though the marketing for new build is catered to younger people and families and that more should be done to echo the wants and needs of older home buyers.

Upsizing was also preferred for the many older homeowners who had to accommodate visits from friends and relatives or to create more room for hobbies and crafts.

A lot of them did not see themselves as ‘old’ either and weren’t convinced they were in immediate need of specialist accommodation.

The key findings

  • 46% invested an average of £84,000 in the purchase of a new home
  • Over half of over 55s (54%) released an average of £105,000 equity as a result of their move
  • 74% of older buyers who downsized said they did it for lower maintenance costs
  • 40% of the over 55s live in a four bedroom house compared to 20% of the total population

Those that did choose to downsize preferred two and three bedroom houses.

Are you looking to move? Find your nearest haart estate agent and get moving today.

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