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Survey reveals demand for downsizing

A third of those opting to move home in the current market are downsizers, research claims.

However, it’s not the increased cost of borrowing or living that is driving them to reduce the size of their home, but the fact they live in an empty nest. 

A survey by Quickmove Properties asked almost 7,000 UK home sellers how the size of their home changed during the latest move. 


Half of those surveyed stated that they moved to a bigger home, while 17% purchased a similar sized property as their previous home. 

However, a third chose to downsize to a smaller home. 

The average age of those choosing to climb the ladder to a bigger home came in at 39, while those downsizing had an average age of 60. 

The most common move when downsizing was to a house with one or two fewer bedrooms than before, with 19% of those surveyed stating they wish they had made the move to a smaller home earlier. 

Rising interest rates and reducing mortgage debt ranked just fifth among reasons for downsizing,  followed by the requirement to lower their cost of living.

The primary reason was due to an empty nest, either because their kids had left home permanently or they had suffered bereavement. 

Retirement also ranked high, as did reduced mobility due to age or health reasons, with the need for an easier to maintain home also a contributing factor. 

Respondents said moving cut their bills and helped release cash.

Mark O’Dwyer, sales director at Quickmove Properties, said: “In current market conditions, downsizing and releasing equity can provide you with the financial security to ensure that your bills are paid and any increase in the cost of your mortgage is more easily managed. 

“However, financial stability isn’t the primary factor behind our decision to downsize and, in fact, the vast majority do so due to lifestyle factors such as an empty nest, retirement and for age or health reasons.”

What was the main reason for downsizing?      
  Answer Respondents      
  Fewer people in the house - Kids flown the nest, bereavement etc 33%      
  Due to Retirement 18%      
  Reduced Mobility due to age/health 13%      
  For easier home maintenance 12%      
  To reduce or clear mortgage debt 10%      
  To save on household bills/cost of living 9%      
  To release equity in current home 3%      
  Lack of available housing stock so had to buy smaller 3%

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