Nigel Howell, FirstPort CEO, comments on the Housing White Paper ‘Fixing our broken housing market’:

“We are encouraged by the scope of the Housing White Paper, and welcome the broad approach the Government is taking towards boosting housing supply, improving routes to home ownership and driving fairness in the rental sector.

“We also welcome the Government’s pledge to promote “fairness and transparency” for all Leasehold customers. Leasehold agreements can be complex and cause confusion when customers are not fully aware of their rights and obligations. There are clear benefits to Leaseholders, such as the legal requirement for their building to be kept in good repair by the landlord or managing agent. FirstPort, alongside other quality, accredited property managers, play a vital role in ensuring Leasehold customers realise these benefits.”

Nick Freeth, MD of Retirement Homesearch, part of FirstPort, the UK’s largest retirement property specialist, also comments:

“We are pleased to see the Government recognise the importance of, and urgent need for, specialist retirement housing. We welcome the new measures which support older generations in their decision to downsize, particularly the new statutory duty on the Secretary of State to produce guidance for local planning authorities on how their local development documents should meet the housing needs of older and disabled people.

“Research we conducted last month shows that one of the main barriers to downsizing is the struggle to find suitable properties (48% of those polled). At the same time, one of the top factors in driving the decision to downsize was the appeal of having an easy to run, modern apartment (27%).  We must pay attention to these barriers and drivers if we want to encourage downsizing, develop the right kind of properties and ease the pressure on the housing market. Any measures that require local planning authorities to consider retirement property specifically will reap benefits at all ends of the housing ladder, for example by releasing under-occupied homes onto the market.” 

About our Research

Opinium polled 2,001 nationally representative UK adults (aged 18+) between 6 - 10 January 2017. Please find the full research report here.