New report identifies inertia as key factor in preventing downsizing

04.06.2015 The lack of suitable homes, coupled with individual’s inertia, are the key factors preventing older people from downsizing, according to a new report.

The Legal and General report suggests that while 33 per cent of older people identified the need to downsize, only seven per cent actually did. Independent research by Hanover indicates that this number may be even lower – around three per cent.

While the report highlighted the lack of housing supply for those looking to downsize from large family homes into smaller accommodation as a key driver of the decision not to downsize, inertia remained the largest barrier.

Legal & General’s report suggests that the costs of downsizing were the strongest motivator. However, the ‘spare room’ factor was also a crucial element. Many of those surveyed said they had chosen not to downsize through fear they would lose contact with friends and family – and particularly that foregoing the spare room would prevent family and friends from visiting them.

Increasing the supply of suitable homes for downsizers in both rural and urban areas, together with an option to buy, part-buy or rent, were seen as essential elements in encouraging older people out of inertia and into downsizing.

Hanover is developing its Downsizer Homes in locations as diverse as Lyndhurst in the New Forest to Hackney and Muswell Hill in London, with properties from one-bedroom apartments to four-bedroom houses available across a range of affordable tenure options.

Hanover has also created a Living Costs Comparison Calculator making it quick and easy to compare household costs between a Hanover home and your current property – spelling out the financial advantages of downsizing to a Hanover Downsizer Home. You can also read our new Guide to Downsizing.

You can view the full Legal & General ‘Last Time Buyers’ report here.