Last time buyers’ housing wealth to pass £1trn this year

Written by Oliver Wade

Last Time buyers now own £938bn of UK housing stock and will reach the £1trn mark before the end of this year, according to new research published by Legal & General.

According to the research, there are now 3.1 million last time buyer households in the UK, with the number of homeowners who have considered downsizing from rising from 32% to 39% in the past three years, which demonstrates the demand for better later living options for over 55’s. Last time buyers account for 26% of all UK households over the age of 55.

In 2017 just 7,000 homes were delivered to the age-specific property sector, making it the most under-supplied area of the housing market. Legal & General’s research revealed that of the last time buyers who had considered downsizing in the last five years but decided against it, 49% said it was because there were no suitable properties available, with a further 29% stating that the properties that were suitable were too expensive.

Legal & General head of later living Phil Bayliss said: “Last time buyers account for more than a quarter of the total number of households aged over 55. This report highlights the crucial role they could play in unlocking the wider UK housing market, further demonstrating the need for government to recognise this sector through key policy changes. If rightsizers were able to move to a property more aligned to their desired lifestyle and needs, vast swathes of homes would be freed up for growing families and second steppers. This, when matched by the huge health benefits proven to come from age appropriate housing, such as a 50% reduction in GP visits and 40% reduction in NHS spend, means that increasing the number of properties available to these buyers is the most efficient way to help solve the UK’s housing crisis and spiralling NHS costs linked to our ageing population.

“A large section of our housing stock – worth nearly £1trn – is under-occupied and owned by people over the age of 55. It is vital that the over 55s are able to make and act on the choices that are right for them."

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