Home owners’ appetite in the UK for downsizing and renting a retirement listing when they get older continues to grow, according to new research.
There has been a 7% rise in enquiries from people looking for a smaller home to rent once their working life is over in the first seven months of this year compared to the same period in 2014, says retirement firm Girlings.
The firm also reports a 34% rise in visits to its website and says that there is a severe lack of purpose built retirement listing, either to rent or buy and many people who want to downsize are unable to do so.
The research says that less than 3% of housing in the pipeline is aimed at older people and yet, in 20 years’ time, those aged 65 or over will make up 23% of the population.
‘Our continuing message to government is that the UK desperately needs more purpose built retirement listing so that older people have the option to downsize,’ said Peter Girling, chair of Girlings Retirement Rentals.
‘Many older people are stuck in homes that are too big for them, have little choice of a suitable alternative and perceive the obstacles to enjoying a better quality of life in their later years are insurmountable,’ he added.
He also pointed out that retired people in the UK currently own a third of the nation’s housing stock and enabling them to downsize would free up much needed family houses and give them the opportunity to release their capital, invest in their future and enjoy their retirement, living in housing that meets all their future needs.
‘We believe there is a simple answer to the current housing shortage and that is for older people to consider downsizing to a purpose built retirement listing and renting on an assured tenancy. Choosing to rent in later life is a sensible solution and one which thousands of Girlings’ tenants can recommend,’ said Girling.
‘Equally, if older people downsize it will free up much needed family housing for people further down the ladder. The latest statistics from the Home Builders Federation state that we are still some way off of the 220,000 to 250,000 new houses that are needed to be built per year to satisfy current demand,’ he explained.
The firm believes that there are many positive reasons for renting in retirement but those opting for such a move should make sure they are fully informed. For example, the provision of an assured ‘lifetime’ tenancy should be considered as this removes any obstacle to renting by providing the peace of mind that people can live in their new home for as long as they wish. Furthermore, should circumstances alter in the future there is not the frustration of trying to sell a retirement listing in an uncertain market and the ensuing worry for family and friends.
An example is Olive Young who sold her home in Ilford, Essex in 2006 and rented an apartment. She was certain that when she retired she didn’t want to be a home owner, as she didn’t want the responsibility of home maintenance and gardening.
However, although renting suited Olive, she craved more permanence, a home in which she could settle and live for many years to come. ‘I wanted a decent and affordable home to enjoy my retirement years that would also suit me as I got older. I liked the concept of an assured tenancies which allow people to rent for life,’ she said.
She ended up with an apartment at Wiltshire Court, a modern, purpose built development with communal gardens, near where she was already living. She viewed a couple of apartments at Wilshire Court and chose a one bedroom apartment on the second floor which was south facing, light and airy.
‘This is the ideal set up for me. I have a home that I love where I have brought all my furniture. It is modern and bright and uncluttered, something which is really important to me.
At 61 I am one of the youngest residents here and I have learned a lot about getting older which has helped me grow and develop as a person,’ she said.
‘I feel a sense of calm and reassurance too that this apartment will really suit me as I get older. There is a real community here and all the support facilities are in place if I needed help. I feel like I have finally found my home,’ she added.
BOOKMARK THIS PAGE (What is this?)
Source: Property News Spain