Almost half of empty nesters have no plans to downsize

27 April 2018

Homeowners who don’t want to downsize could be hurting the housing market, research reveals. 

Almost half of homeowners whose children have moved out are not planning to downsize because they like their house and the area they live. Some 45% of so-called empty nesters say they won’t be moving to a smaller property now their children have left home.

But, with concerns about lack of housing supply pushing property prices up, experts say empty nesters should consider downsizing if possible to free up vital housing stock. As well as this, moving into a smaller home can free up cash for retirement.  

Two-thirds of homeowners surveyed by Lloyds Bank say they enjoy having the extra space now their children have left home, while 41% say they are better off financially so don’t need to sell up and 29% say moving would be too much hassle.  

Meanwhile, 37% want to keep the spare room for their grandchildren. But some owners have other plans for the extra space – two-thirds of people like to have a spare room for guests, a quarter use it as a home office and almost one in five turn it into a room for their hobbies. 

Meanwhile, 2% are taking advantage of the government’s rent-a-room scheme and letting out their spare bedroom to make some extra cash. Just 19% keep their children’s bedroom unchanged after they’ve moved out. 

Andy Mason, mortgage products director at Lloyds Bank, says: “A lot of empty nesters are enjoying life since their children have flown the nest, travelling more and chasing lifelong dreams. But it is encouraging to see a significant number still looking to downsize – this releases funds for their future and is important to keep the housing market healthy.” 

According to Lloyds, the typical downsize results in a chunky windfall of £110,000. As well as a cash injection, homeowners say the appeals of downsize include reducing bills and monthly outgoings. Some 37% of downsizers say they plan to invest the money they free up, with a further 34% likely to put the cash into their pension and 15% giving money to family. 






In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

We haven't been acquainted with how "young" Mr Smith is, but hopefully he has calculated how years he has between now and when he is due to pass his half century, when according to him, he will become "pond life", and "needs to pop his clogs", and "pass on his money and property to the poor snowflakes".I wish him well in making best use of those diminishing years.For those agitating about "dreaded stamp duty", I'd be interested to learn in what other way they would wish to make their financial contribution to ensuring the continuance of our country's public services ?

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

What is happening to this country? Anyone over 50 is now no better than pond life and really needs to pop their clogs and pass on any money earned and any property to the poor snowflakes.

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

With regard to 'empty nesters to downsize', I personally think if there was some sort of incentive, like reduced stamp duty (up to a certain amount of course), I think these home owners might consider to down size and free up larger family homes.

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

The English system of buying and selling property ( in contrast to Scotland and most of Europe ) is a total turn-off and leads to high levels of stress.. Add to that high Stamp Duty. Until these issues are addressed, people will feel disinclined to downsize.

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

After 33 years at our former address, we "rightsized" 18 months ago. We achieved some right-sizing benefits, and weren't necessarily seeking a "chunky windfall". We certainly had no aspiration for a "typical downsize windfall of £110,000" as perceived by Lloyds Bank..Just as well, as with no mortgage to discharge, and working around a Midlands market of a healthy £500k, our "windfall" was a spectacular £48, from which our solicitor requested a reimbursement of £4 due to a calculation error .! !Those surveyed by Lloyds, must have had to swallow huge compromises in their housing aspirations to get a typical chunky windfall of £110,000, and is frankly not a realistic scenario for those seeking a contented right-size. !

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

Older people with their own house as their only residence should not be made to feel guilty for the appalling housing policy of successive right-wing governments (of either party) nor should they be responsible for resolving the housing shortage. The problem should be tackled by a combination of house-building (including a massive increase in the provision of public sector housing), a major crack-down on the ownership of multiple properties and a complete reform of the private rental sector which would make for-profit renting undesirable.

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

Downsize, no way. Firstly , having paid legal,. estate agent and the dreaded stamp duty you will have wasted about £25000. If you now move from a £600K house and buy a £400K house your estate value will drop dramatically over a period of time, since for the purposes of inheritance the children will be left with £400K at (typ) 6% return and £175K at about 1% return as opposed to £600K at 6%. The tale does not end there since such a move would also require new carpets, curtains etc and usually a kitchen refit, there goes another £15K.We are not downsizing

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