Almost 1 in 5 over 55s say barriers remain preventing them from moving home

Posted on Friday, September 8, 2023

A new survey of Brits has cast light on the moving aspirations of those aged 55 or over and revealed what is preventing almost 1 in 5 from doing so.

Paragon’s survey of nearly 2,000 Britons aged 55 or over found 15% wanted to move home in the next year. However, 17% of respondents said there were barriers to moving home that were stopping them from doing so, including a lack of alternative property (12%), wanting to keep the property in the family (7%) and the financial benefit not being attractive enough (5%).

The most common reason given amongst those looking to move home was to downsize (48%). Nearly a quarter (23%) said they were looking to move to reduce house running costs, whilst a similar proportion said they wanted to move closer to family.

Other popular reasons included moving to a home to better suit their physical needs, such as a bungalow (22%), with 17% of those intending to move wanting to move to a more rural location.

Derek Sprawling, Paragon Bank Savings Director, said: “Nearly three-quarters of the UK’s housing equity sits with people aged 55 or over and often these properties are too large for their needs1. Our research shows that 15% of people in this category are in the process or want to move home, with downsizing the most common reason.

“However, there are also notable barriers to moving home, with a lack of suitable property being the most common reason given, plus not wanting to relinquish a family home and the financial benefit not being big enough.”

The desire to move was greater amongst those in pre-retirement age, with 19% of those aged between 55 and 64 moving or considering moving. This falls to 16% for those between 65 and 74 and 12% for those aged between 75 and 84.

Of those seeking to move, 84% plan to buy another property outright, 5% plan to move to a retirement village and 3% intend to rent property. Only 1% intend to move in with family.

53% said they would use the proceeds of a property sale to buy another property, 40% would put proceeds into savings, a quarter would use it to live on and 17% would gift some of the money to family. Additionally, 11% said they would put some of the money into equities.

Derek concluded: “Those that are planning to move would use the proceeds from the sale to buy another home, although one in four would also use it to bolster their savings. People doing so should consider what savings accounts would offer them the best returns and not just rely on the rates offered by their incumbent banks.”

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