Logo

Downsizers could release 2.8 million bedrooms if a stamp duty exemption is promised

PUBLISHED: 15:55 04 August 2017 | UPDATED: 16:05 04 August 2017

There are currently 141,000 units of owner-occupied retirement housing in the UK, but McCarthy and Stone say more is needed to meet increasing demand for retirement housing

There are currently 141,000 units of owner-occupied retirement housing in the UK, but McCarthy and Stone say more is needed to meet increasing demand for retirement housing

monkeybusinessimages

Silver economy could provide £877 billion of equity by 2036 for first time buy homes

"Encouraging moves at the top end of the housing chain will stimulate activity, release millions of under-occupied family-sized homes onto local markets, and help younger people move up the ladder. It�s a win-win,� said Clive Fenton.

Just under half of all pensioners aged 65 or over are considering downsizing, potentially freeing up homes valued at £720 billion for first time buyers and second steppers. The McCarthy and Stone Retirement Confidence Index (RCI) produced in conjunction with YouGov studied over 3000 pensioners and revealed that there was a growing appetite for downsizing as the population ages.

38 per cent of those surveyed would consider moving to a smaller property now, with an extra one in ten, or 1.2 million, encouraged by the idea of a stamp duty exemption, up 4 per cent since last year’s tax changes were introduced. Overall, 48 per cent of pensioners, or 5.7 million, are thinking of downsizing. This figure is expected to rise to over 11 million by 2036.

The over 65s currently have a combined housing wealth of over £1.5 trillion. Since respondents on average expect to release £80,000 when they downsize, £877 billion of equity would be released by 2036 according to these figures.

Clive Fenton, CEO of McCarthy and Stone said: “The ability to release equity from the value of homes in later life provides a strong economic argument for downsizing. As the strain on the social care system rises, we will also find more and more people tapping into their housing wealth to cover the costs of retirement and care.”

"“Encouraging moves at the top end of the housing chain will stimulate activity, release millions of under-occupied family-sized homes onto local markets, and help younger people move up the ladder. It’s a win-win.”"

Clive Fenton, CEO of McCarthy and Stone

The RCI demonstrates growing demand for more retirement housing stock, at the same time as releasing 2.8 million bedrooms worth £720 billion across the UK for younger buyers.

“Encouraging moves at the top end of the housing chain will stimulate activity, release millions of under-occupied family-sized homes onto local markets, and help younger people move up the ladder. It’s a win-win,” said Mr Fenton.

There are currently 141,000 units of owner-occupied retirement housing in the UK. One of these is Pegasus Life’s Hampstead Green Place, due to be completed in June next year, exclusively for the over 55s. They also have another in the pipeline on Fitzjohn’s Avenue. Simon Deen, director of new homes at Aston Chase believes that downsizers aren’t necessarily looking for something smaller, rather are looking for different amenities. He said: “I don’t think it’s about giving up size, it’s about a change of living accommodation, so if you’re in a house of at least two floors – in St John’s Wood, it can be four or five floors – and you’re switching that for a lateral space, obviously that’s got better appeal.”

In addition to the ease of lateral living, there’s the appeal of up to date amenities at your fingertips. “In Buxmead, the apartments are mostly lateral, the services are second to none, you’ve got a 24 hour concierge, communal gardens, and someone else is dealing with all of the maintenance that would normally come with owning a large house in the area.”

"“The only fly in the ointment is because stamp duty is so high, a lot of people are staying where they are. It’s hampered the downsizer market a little bit. Because whoever’s buying your house is having to pay big stamp duty, and in your onwards move the stamp duty is again not inconsiderable.”"

Simon Deen, director of new homes at Aston Chase

Prices at Buxmead on the Bishops Avenue start at £6,500,000. Residents can make use of a pool and gym on site, and that’s not only good for downsizers. “The amenities it offers are perfect for grandchildren: swimming pools, cinemas etc,” said Mr Deen.

Developer Harrison Varma designed Buxmead with local empty nesters in mind, with communal entertaining and conference facilities all on one floor and all apartments can be customised for wheelchairs. Other popular downsizer locations include Chiltern Place in Marylebone with underground parking and a concierge service. However, being more central has its downsides.

“Grandparents want to be near their grandchildren. Which is another reason why Buxmead works. A lot of these people’s grandchildren are living in Hampstead Garden Suburb. If you’re at Buxmead you’re close to them, whereas if you’re in town you’re further away and you’d have to pay congestion charge,” said Mr Deen.

There’s also The Park Crescent, where just one penthouse is remaining at £6,750,000. A refurbished property, the flats proved less popular with downsizers largely due to the absence of underground parking and amenities in newer developments, Mr Deen said.

BuxmeadBuxmead

Noting that Help-to-Buy had helped buyers at the first rung of the housing ladder, Mr Fenton added: “We really need a strong planning policy presumption in favour of retirement housing and other forms of suitable housing for our ageing population.”

That stamp duty has had a negative impact on downsizer activity is undeniable.

“The only fly in the ointment is because stamp duty is so high, a lot of people are staying where they are. It’s hampered the downsizer market a little bit. Because whoever’s buying your house is having to pay big stamp duty, and in your onwards move the stamp duty is again not inconsiderable,” said Mr Deen.

“The Government needs to put specialist retirement housing and other forms of accommodation for older people higher up the agenda or we will simply lack the necessary infrastructure and support services, particularly from a health and social care perspective, to deal with such a huge demographic shift,” concluded Mr Fenton.

Property search


e.g. Oxford or NW3
Powered by Zoopla

Other Hampstead and Highgate property news

A prize property: this £10 million Highgate mansion was once home to a Nazi-fighting Nobel Prize winner

Flex your househunting muscles with this Victorian mansion with its very own blue plaque commemorating its former resident who saved 900 academics from the Nazi regime

Blur guitarist leads fight to save Camden Road Spiritualist Temple

Graham Coxon has joined forces with spiritualists to object to the demolition of Rochester Square Spiritualist Temple in NW1.

Stroud Green area guide: shops, restaurants, schools and property

Your guide to all the things to do in Stroud Green, including the best restaurants, shops, bars, delis and schools. PLUS our guide to property in N4

Hot property in Stroud Green: the top three homes on the market now

This week in our top three: family homes galore in N4

Ice cold: £1.5 million homes launch on site of famous former ice cream parlour

Get the scoop on the just launched Marine Ices development, which will feature 19 apartments ranging from £650,000 to £1.5 million

Comment: Jacob Rees-Mogg’s plan to scrap stamp duty is a dead moggy

The MP wants to do away with stamp duty and tear down tower blocks like Grenfell, but his ideas are a distraction from the housing crisis

Mayor announces £25 million investment in affordable homes scheme with developments in north London

Pocket Living will receive £25 million from Sadiq Khan to invest in more affordable homes for local workers and residents in the capital

Camden house prices have risen 8 per cent since the Brexit vote

House prices in Camden rise almost 4 per cent since May, with first time buyers taking out a quarter more mortgages

Property of the week: high tech family home in a private gated development

Set behind a Grade II listed wall this four bedroom home comes hard wired for technology including high speed wifi and a Sonos sound system

Balling: two north London developments are premier picks for footballers

These homes in north London are in the Premier League with park views, balconies and plenty of space for a kick around

Fun in the sun: 10 reasons to get your green fingered kids in the garden

Bosch Home and Garden reveal 10 valuable life lessons that can be learnt through getting children involved with garden projects this summer

Don’t lose the plot

As National Allotments Week approaches, the National Allotment Society offers advice on how to get a plot and what you need to think about.

Well read: Your summer property, homes and interiors reading list

From priced out artists to plywood surfboards, here’s all the property and interiors books you need to read this summer

Meet Radhika Seth, the CEO designing dream homes for the one per cent

Meet the woman bringing the wildest interior design and lifestyle architecture dreams of the world’s wealthiest people to life

3 metre wide alleyway in Marylebone to be turned into £2.7 million house

The gap betweent two buildings on the Euston Road is to be converted into a multi-million pound home despite opposition from a nextdoor pub

London’s Stalling: prime property in the capital lags behind national house price growth

Homes over £1 million failing to sell in aftermath of stamp duty changes and Brexit, with a record low for numbers of homes on the market

West Hampstead area guide: restaurants, shops, library, and train station

Your guide to all the things to do in West Hampstead, including the best restaurants, shops, bars, cinemas and schools. PLUS our guide to property in NW6

Hot Homes in West Hampstead: property for sale in NW6

On the market now in West Hampstead: two turnkey family homes and a Manhattan-style top floor apartment.

Is Stamp Duty really to blame for the housing crisis?

A Conservative MP has started a scrap over scrapping stamp duty. But would ditching the tax help get people – and the market – moving again?

Highgate Court developer reports 13 per cent increase in sales revenue

Developer of Highgate Court, Bellway Homes, bucks trend to report 13 per cent increase in housing revenue this year

Comment: Should first time buyers try their luck?

Stamp duty and Brexit have stalled house prices, whilst low interest rates means mortgages are cheap. But should first time buyers place a bet?

This London art gallery lets you try before you buy

Looking to inject your interiors with a little pizzazz? This online gallery lets you rent art beforehand so you can see how it looks in your home

Property in short supply in Camden, as prices rise but growth rate slumps

House prices are back on the rise after June slump, but annual growth is at its lowest rate since April 2013

Property of the Week: a Victorian maisonette with its own meadow

This garden maisonette comes with a communal meadow with its own woodland, as well as planning permission to add two more bedrooms

‘Home is where one starts from’: an apartment in the mansion block once home to T.S. Eliot

A two bedroom flat is on the market in Crawford Mansions, the green-plaque mansion block formerly home to Nobel Prize winner, T.S. Eliot.

Gaga for Gizmos: stock up on these high-tech home-gadgets

Home-tech doesn’t have to be all substance and no style. Find out the best high-tech products for you home here.

Peaceful planting: top five plants for a therapeutic garden

Horticultural therapy charity Thrive offers tips on how to make your garden a wellbeing haven.

‘Good news’ or just ‘spin’: Is demand for property in NW3 really up almost 80 per cent?

A new report claims that demand for property has surged in areas such as Primrose Hill and Belsize Park, but the reality is a little more complicated

Downsizers could release 2.8 million bedrooms if a stamp duty exemption is promised

Silver economy could provide £877 billion of equity by 2036 for first time buy homes

‘A hideous business’: the risks of Airbnb

Could Airbnb be causing your home to lose value or leave you vulnerable to theft? Your guide to the unintended perils of Airbnb

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

2017 © Archant Community Media Ltd

Terms and conditions | Cookie policy | Jobs at Archant