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UK Needs More Age-Specific Housing

There are now 3.1 million Last Time Buyer households in the UK, who between them own £938bn of UK housing stock, rising to the £1 trillion mark this year, new research has revealed. 

According to the study, by Legal & General and Cebr, the number of these homeowners who have considered downsizing has risen from 32% to 39% in the past three years, demonstrating the demand for better later living options for over-55s. Last Time Buyers make up over a quarter (26%) of all UK households over the age of 55.

The study notes that the UK has a chronic undersupply of age-specific properties, with only 7,000 homes delivered to this sector last year making it the most under-supplied area of the housing market. Legal & General’s research shows that of the Last Time Buyers who had considered downsizing in the last five years but didn’t, 49% said it was because there were no suitable properties available, with a further 29% stating that the properties that were suitable were too expensive.

“Last Time Buyers account for more than a quarter of the total number of households aged over 55,” explained Phil Bayliss, Head of Later Living at Legal & General. “This report highlights the crucial role they could play in unlocking the wider UK housing market, further demonstrating the need for Government to recognise this sector through key policy changes.”

“If rightsizers were able to move to a property more aligned to their desired lifestyle and needs, vast swathes of homes would be freed up for growing families and second steppers,” he added. “This, when matched by the huge health benefits proven to come from age appropriate housing, such as a 50% reduction in GP visits and 40% reduction in NHS spend, means that increasing the number of properties available to these buyers is the most efficient way to help solve the UK’s housing crisis and spiralling NHS costs linked to our ageing population.”

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