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The number of older people downsizing their homes has dropped

11th October 2018

With older people now working and earning for longer, it seems that their desire to “downsize” to a smaller property isn’t top of their list of priorities. In a report commissioned by the Greater Manchester Combined Authority and funded by the Centre for Ageing Better, they have found that rather than move to a home with a smaller footprint, older people are now interested in investing in a space that can cater for entertaining friends and family. What’s more is that homes are becoming more accessible with items such as stairlifts for the home meaning that older people are no longer limited to living in single level buildings.

“Rightsizing re-frames the housing offer for older people in terms of the actual availability and accessibility of the options they need and desire. While this requires housing strategies to engage more fully with the local circumstances of older people, we believe it releases great potential for positive action," says Professor Stefan White, Manchester School of Architecture, Manchester Metropolitan University.

Despite this, there is still a market for people who are looking to move to a smaller property, with two in five homes in the UK under-occupied. Across the country, there are 11.8 million people over the age of 65, with many of them looking to “rightsize” to a desirable property that is suited to their needs. However, only 2% of the housing industry has been specifically created to cater to this age group, with a limited number of retirement villages available. 

Rachael Docking, housing lead at the Centre for Ageing Better, said: “It’s often assumed that people want to ‘downsize’ to more manageable properties as they age. In fact, people in later life have the same desires to improve their quality of life as any of us. We need to move away from a focus on delivering homes ‘for older people’ and deliver an adequate and diverse supply of adaptable, accessible housing that’s fit for people of all ages.”

This news article is from Handicare UK. Articles that appear on this website are for information purposes only.