Taylor Scott International News
Home owners’ appetite in the UK for downsizing and renting a retirement property when they get older continues to grow, according to new research. There has been a 7% rise in enquiries from people looking for a smaller home to rent once their working life is over in the first seven months of this year compared to the same period in 2014, says retirement firm Girlings. The firm also reports a 34% rise in visits to its website and says that there is a severe lack of purpose built retirement property, either to rent or buy and many people who want to downsize are unable to do so. The research says that less than 3% of housing in the pipeline is aimed at older people and yet, in 20 years’ time, those aged 65 or over will make up 23% of the population. ‘Our continuing message to government is that the UK desperately needs more purpose built retirement property so that older people have the option to downsize,’ said Peter Girling, chair of Girlings Retirement Rentals. ‘Many older people are stuck in homes that are too big for them, have little choice of a suitable alternative and perceive the obstacles to enjoying a better quality of life in their later years are insurmountable,’ he added. He also pointed out that retired people in the UK currently own a third of the nation’s housing stock and enabling them to downsize would free up much needed family houses and give them the opportunity to release their capital, invest in their future and enjoy their retirement, living in housing that meets all their future needs. ‘We believe there is a simple answer to the current housing shortage and that is for older people to consider downsizing to a purpose built retirement property and renting on an assured tenancy. Choosing to rent in later life is a sensible solution and one which thousands of Girlings’ tenants can recommend,’ said Girling. ‘Equally, if older people downsize it will free up much needed family housing for people further down the ladder. The latest statistics from the Home Builders Federation state that we are still some way off of the 220,000 to 250,000 new houses that are needed to be built per year to satisfy current demand,’ he explained. The firm believes that there are many positive reasons for renting in retirement but those opting for such a move should make sure they are fully informed. For example, the provision of an assured ‘lifetime’ tenancy should be considered as this removes any obstacle to renting by providing the peace of mind that people can live in their new home for as long as they wish. Furthermore, should circumstances alter in the future there is not the frustration of trying to sell a retirement property in an uncertain market and the ensuing worry for family and friends. An example is Olive Young who sold her home in Ilford, Essex in 2006 and rented… Continue reading →
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