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For those who didn’t manage to save enough to fund their retirement, or find their existing home is too big and expensive to run, downsizing can be the answer. You sell your home, move to a cheaper one and live off the money you’ve made.

However, recent research1 has shown that there is a shortage of small properties, making it harder for retirees to downsize. In parts of the country there are double the number of four-bedroom properties available compared to two-bedroom homes.

Cambridge and Rugby were found to be the worst affected areas, where there were three four-bed houses for every two-bed. St Helens, Hull and Sunderland topped the list of areas where two-bed properties outnumbered four-beds.

Knock-on effects
The think-tank Demos2 has estimated that at least 30,000 new retirement properties are needed, just to meet current demand and believes that building more properties specifically designed to meet the needs of older, retired people would have significant implications for the housing market.

Older couples staying put in large family homes reduces the supply of property available to younger families looking to move into houses that would give them the growing space they need. A shortage of supply also means that prices continue to remain high.

The research shows that 3.5 million people aged over 60 were interested in buying a retirement property.

Making the right move
It makes sense to look at the costs involved before you make your move to ensure it will be worth it in financial terms and think too about the impact it might have on your family, your leisure activities and your social life.

1Responsible Life, 2019
2Demos, 2017