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Agents urged to diversify by linking with retirement developers

Estate agents are being urged to future-proof and diversify by linking with retirement developers via part-exchange services.

Property investment service HBB Solutions says such a link would offer year-round and long-term benefits for agents, giving greater security should the traditional mainstream housing market hit trouble.

It says the latest predictions from the Office for National Statistics show that in 50 years, there are likely to be an additional 8.6m people aged 65 years and over, likely pushing up demand for specialist property.

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In addition, government action is already promoting the retirement sector - developer McCarthy Stone, for example, has been given strategic partnership status with Homes England, and was also successful in its bid for grant funding to help deliver1,500 new affordable shared ownership properties over the next five years aimed at retirement communities.

Chris Hodgkinson, managing director of HBB Solutions and a former agent himself, says: “The structure of the UK population is constantly changing because of several factors such as life expectancy. Retirement is a factor that everyone will have to consider as they get older. As a result, retirement living presents opportunities for agents so it should be fully embraced.

“Not only is the demand there but with September 30, which marks the end of the £250,000 stamp duty holiday threshold, just around the corner, agencies must consider their options. Partnering with a firm that offers various solutions will guarantee business all year round for agents.” 

The company expects broken property chains to increase as the stamp duty holiday draws to a close, leading to many unsuccessful sales. However, agents can offer an alternative by working with developers of retirement living on part exchanges. 

By 2040, growth in older households is set to account for 36 per cent of the anticipated 3.7m increase in the total amount of UK households. 

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