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Millions Plan to Downsize Later in Life

New research from Prudential has revealed that over 3.9 million over-55s plan to downsize to a cheaper property later in life, and convenience is the main motivator for this move, not the releasing of equity.

The UK-wide study found nearly half (47%) of over-55 homeowners planning to sell and move to cheaper homes in later life. On average they expect to raise around £112,000 in equity by downsizing, with 11% expecting to make more than £200,000.
However, it is not all about the money – the main reason for downsizing is the convenience of running a smaller home in retirement. Nearly three-quarters (74%) rated convenience as their main reason for downsizing compared with just 28% who said they were doing so mainly to release cash for retirement. Meanwhile, just over one in three (34%) said having a smaller garden was a major motivation. 
When it comes to possible reasons for choosing not to downsize, a lack of suitable available housing appears to be the main deterrent, with 38% saying this is why downsizing isn’t more popular. Around 24% blamed the cost of moving in terms of stamp duty, solicitors and estate agents, and 17% say high house prices put people off.
On a more local level, those living in Northern Ireland (63%) and the East of England (60%) are apparently the most likely to downsize their property. Those living in London (41%), Scotland (45%) and the West Midlands (45%) are the least likely to sell up and move somewhere smaller.

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