Retirement Homesearch Q2 2016 Review 

The uptake of retirement housing softened in the second quarter of this year as many downsizers paused plans ahead of the EU referendum vote, according to the latest quarterly review from Retirement Homesearch, part of FirstPort, the UK’s leading retirement property specialist.

Despite poll data showing that those aged over 65 were more likely to vote Leave (60% compared to 40% remain)[1], industry experts warned that the Brexit result could have important consequences on their retirement plans.

In the second quarter of 2016, new buyer registrations for retirement properties slipped by over 20% from the first quarter to 4,744. This figure marked a 30% fall on the same period last year, as uncertainty before the Referendum slowed the market.

However, the number of property viewings (2,974) and instructions (513) remained steady on first quarter numbers, showing that registered buyers are still actively looking to downsize.

Nick Freeth, Managing Director, Retirement Homesearch says: “Uncertainty around the referendum may have caused many downsizers to sit on their hands until after24 June, but the Leave outcome could mean a further delay in decisions, as markets fluctuate and affect pensions, which will have a knock-on effect on Britons’ retirement plans. However, with six million older Britons now living in houses with two or more excess bedrooms, downsizing could help retirees free up capital, reduce the cost of running large properties and move to homes better suited to their needs.”

A recent report on the state of the UK’s housing, published by the International Longevity Centre (ILC-UK) and supported by Retirement Homesearch parent company, FirstPort, shows that under-occupancy amongst the older generation is now a widespread issue with six million people living in houses with two or more excess bedrooms. Since 2005 there has been a significant increase in the number of 65-74 year olds living alone (300,000).

Nick Freeth added: “As experts in retirement housing, we know that having access to specialist advice is especially important in the post-Brexit landscape where it is essential to minimise uncertainty. By ensuring downsizers get the guidance they need, they can begin to look forward to a new home, as well as a new lifestyle.”

Click here to view the Quarter 2 2016 review.

2 August 2016