What are downsizers, a growing force in the housing market, looking for?
Downsizers are emerging as increasingly influential purchasers in the property market, with a growing number of over-55s selling up and buying less expensive properties.
Last year, it has been estimated, 181,000 people downsized* – the highest number in five years.
Why downsizers are important
Downsizers help keep the property market ticking over as they tend to free up bigger family homes. Given the shortage of good quality housing stock, this is good news for first-time buyers and families looking for more room.
Why do people downsize?
Free up equity – Often, people downsize to fund their retirement or help their children get on the property ladder. The study found, on average, downsizers were £256,800 better off after making a move – so there’s probably spare change for that special holiday.
Reduce maintenance – As we get older, looking after a large property can be a real burden. Downsizing means fewer cleaning, gardening and general maintenance chores.
Lower heating bills – With energy prices rising, paying to heat a large and predominantly empty home makes no sense.
Mortgage-free – Many downsizers want to work less or retire, permitting them to be free of mortgage repayments.
Family ties – Many downsizers want to live near to children and grandchildren.
What downsizers want
There are always exceptions to the rule, but in general most downsizers look for:
A Low-maintenance garden – Rickety fences, leaky sheds and large lawns that need mowing are likely to be turn-offs.
Little or no DIY – Downsizers are often reluctant to carry out major refurbishments, so properties that require work are not on their list.
Good storage – If you’ve lived in a spacious home for years, you’re bound to have accumulated many possessions. Even after a ruthless declutter, you’re still likely to have beloved objects with which you can’t bear to part.
Proximity to amenities – They may want a quieter pace of life, but many downsizers still desire access to shops, leisure facilities and public transport.
*Downsizer definition: someone who purchases a property that is at least 20% cheaper than their previous property and has at least two fewer bedrooms.
If you’re looking to downsize and would like some tips about how best to market your property, contact Nick or Teresa at Quarters Residential Estate Agents on 0118 466 0292 (call or WhatsApp) – we’re here to help!