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Revealed - why so few older owners move home, despite difficulties

New research gives an insight into the difficulties that older home owners have coping with their properties - and highlights the issues that eventually lead them to move.

The research, in the form of a poll of 2,009 over-65s undertaken by polling firm Consensuswide for the Independent Age charity, reveals that one in eight say they already have problems getting around their home.

Of those almost two in three say they have trouble getting up and down the stairs and over half say they have trouble getting in and out of the bath or shower.


The survey reveals that the top three reasons that would make people aged 65 and over think about moving home are health or mobility getting worse (43 per cent); wanting less garden maintenance (29 per cent); and being unable to do housework and maintenance (25 per cent).

However - and perhaps why some in the industry want to offer incentives for older owners to free up their houses - almost one in three people aged 65 and over said that there is nothing that would make them think about moving home.

Other key findings include that on average people aged 65 and over have lived in their home for 22 years and eight months, with more than one in three having lived in their home for more than 30 years.

No fewer than 83 per cent admitted that they had not fully planned ahead for their future housing needs; only 42 per cent have considered downsizing.

The group most likely to have considered downsizing are those who own their home but still have a mortgage - but even then it’s only 47 per cent of these older owners.

Around two in three think that there are obstacles to downsizing - mostly concerning not having enough suitable properties to choose from, and the costs of moving home.

When asked where they thought they would be living in five years’ time, almost seven in 10 thought they would still be living in the home they live in now. 


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