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One in five consider downsizing to boost retirement wealth

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  • 02/09/2015
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One in five consider downsizing to boost retirement wealth
Lack of available homes and the cost of moving are proving to be major barriers for around one in five Brits who are considering downsizing to boost retirement wealth.

Research published by Bower Retirement Services showed the average adviser estimated that 20% of clients were considering downsizing, with one in five advisers saying that nearly a third of clients are considering downsizing.

Around 70% of advisers surveyed said clients dropped plans to downsize because of family ties, while almost half (47%) said clients could not find suitable homes to move to. A further 37% blamed the cost of moving, with customers fearing they would not make enough money from selling their home.

Bower Retirement said the struggle to move was reflected in Land Registry data showing house sales in England and Wales dropped 15% in February to May to 61,283, compared to the same period a year earlier when sales totalled 70,029.

The data showed one of the biggest decreases in house sales in May was sales of properties valued between £200,000 and £250,000, which fell by 26%.

Andrea Rozario, chief corporate officer at Bower Retirement Services said downsizing was a logical step for many homeowners approaching retirement and should be a workable solution if individuals cannot find the right house at the right price.

“It is clear however that it is not that simple as there are financial issues to deal with when moving house with stamp duty alone costing 5% on house prices above £250,000 which can make the decision to move uneconomic. Buying a £300,000 home would cost around £5,000 in stamp duty,” she added.

“When you add that to the emotional wrench of moving home with the risk of losing touch with family and friends it can make downsizing seem a bad idea.”

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