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Downsizing incentives needed as homeowners stay put for longer - research

Homeowners, particularly those in larger homes are staying put for longer, research shows.

Analysis of Land Registry data between 2019 and 2022 by quick-buy firm Spring and PropAlt found homeowners typically lived in their homes for an average of 121 months or 10 years.

This compared with an average of 110 months or nine 9 years between 2015-18 and an average of 99 months - 8.25 years- between 2011-2014.


In terms of property sizes, people typically stay in three-bedroom houses for 94 months (7.8 years), rising to 102 months (8.5 years) for four-bedroom houses and 109 months (9 years) for five-bedroom homes. This period rises to 113 months (9.4 years) for six-bedroom homes.

The findings come as Spring reports that enquiries from home movers looking to downsize has increased by 15% over the past 12 months, likely driven by cost-of-living increases causing many to consider ‘rightsizing’ their property and freeing up capital either for themselves or to support their children.

But Cormac Henderson, co-founder and executive chairman at Spring, said more incentives are needed to get downsizers to sell, find suitable homes and free up supply.

He said: “Uncertainty, rising borrowing costs and cost-of-living increases mean that many people are staying in their homes for longer. Another factor to consider is that with getting onto the property ladder becoming so difficult, grown-up children are staying at home for longer than ever before, which might be putting the brakes on parents downsizing their homes.”

“We also know that many older residents feel trapped in their large family homes. We’ve previously called on the government to introduce an initiative for Stamp Duty Land Tax exceptions for downsizers, and we still believe this initiative would accelerate the number of elderly homeowners who are considering downsizing.”


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