This blog continues on the theme of elderly people being left at home in an “asset” that they are desperately hanging onto, but with insufficient income to live a good life, especially if they become frail and need support. (See earlier posts on this thread by clicking on “HOME ALONE” in the TAG CLOUD).
A recent survey by the property agent Rightmove, indicates that there is a trend which is becoming increasingly dominant in the housing market of elderly people downsizing. Over 40% of recent house sales were people moving down from large family houses. Generally these people are baby boomers recently retired and seeking to cash in some of the value of their home.
Not only does this secure them more suitable smaller accommodation – a place in the sun maybe. It also releases cash to support a more leisurely lifestyle for themselves, or to pass on to children and grandchildren. The lucky few may move into purpose-built retirement housing, which offers them companionship and support if they need it in later life. Good quality retirement housing is still relatively scarce and the Government should encourage more of it by relaxing planning regulations and making more building sites available. People who are trading down usually have money to spare and are concerned to purchase good quality accommodation in a good location.
The interesting impact on the housing market as a whole is to depress the cost of family housing. This is probably a long overdue market correction in over-inflated house prices but it does make it more difficult for older people to move. Government action to encourage greater use of shared ownership or reverse mortgages would help further stimulate the market .
We all need to get on with it !
Nothing less than a complete reinvigouration of the market in retirement housing, will suffice to meet the growing needs of older people to release funds to support a better life style as their needs change.
Then they may no longer be forced to live their lives at home alone.