The number of ‘last-time buyers’ who want to downsize their home has increased from 32% to 39% in the past 3 years, research by Legal & General  shows.

The study defines a last-time buyer as a homeowner aged 55 or over, whose household is under-occupied, with 2 or more empty bedrooms.

Despite the growing proportion of this group who would like to downsize, only 13% have been able to do so.

Almost half (49%) said this was because of a lack of suitable properties, compared to 25% in 2015.

Last-time buyers hold around £938 billion in property wealth, which will pass £1 trillion by the end of 2018, the research found.

Those surveyed said their ideal age to downsize would be between 65 and 69, and 13% said they would do so to free up money for retirement.

Quote from Nigel Holland:

“Many seniors have downsizing down as one of their key retirement plans for one reason or another. These include factors like convenience, money and a better standard of living.

There are countless people aged 55 and over who own their own home and want to size down due to having a lot of free space, for example; empty rooms not being used any more. Therefore, not only would downsizing help potential next buyers who need the space, but it would also less of a hassle to run, which is key for those looking to retire as they will want a smooth, stress free running household. This would also assist in saving seniors money which could be put towards retirement, some want to travel, and others would like to pass it down to children and grandchildren.

13% of those surveyed said that if they never downsized then they don’t believe they could afford to retire otherwise.”