Leading specialist retirement estate agency, Retirement Homesearch (RHS) predicts that changes to pensioners’ financial outlook may impact the number of new buyers entering the market.
Highlighting changes such as the future planned increase in the state pension age and the review of the “triple lock”, RHS say these factors may give a boost to the market as people will have to consider downsizing to free up assets.
Retirement Homesearch’s Quarter 2, 2017 review highlights the importance of ‘proceedable’ buyers in the retirement market as a ‘critical factor’ that could be impacted by the changing financial landscape for tomorrow’s pensioners.
Retirement Homesearch is seeing a very small rise on last year for new instructions and current stock levels. This is at odds with the open market picture, which shows the supply of new stock falling for the 16th month in a row.1 Whilst the modest increase in retirement stock is encouraging, the availability of proceedable buyers is key.
Nick Freeth, Managing Director of Retirement Homesearch highlights: “In the retirement market new stock levels are more steady but the availability of proceedable buyers is a more critical factor and will continue to be a key focus for the market.”
Nick adds: “The changes afoot may well give a boost to the market as people have to seriously consider freeing up some of their assets and downsize – for example, it’s predicted that there will be more financial hardship - particularly for women - who will have to wait longer than expected to draw their state pension.”
Ian Price, Retirement Proposition Divisional Director at St. James’s Place Wealth Management, adds: “Releasing cash to fund retirement by downsizing the family home is often a highly emotional time, but is a path well-trodden by retirees in the UK. In these times, where inflation rates are out-pacing returns on cash in the bank and we are all living longer, your money needs to go further, so reviewing your financial and estate planning needs for retirement makes good sense.“
Changes in the financial landscape may mean that a typical dweller of a retirement property may change with an increase of ‘working residents’, and this Quarter’s review interviews four working residents. Ivy Brownlie, is 85 and works at a local Doctors’ surgery. She says: “I can’t afford to retire just yet! Our development is for people who want to live independently so suits my working lifestyle. Some (residents) do raise an eyebrow when I tell them I can’t attend a social event because I have to go to work!”
1 The latest RICS UK Residential Market Survey shows the supply of new stock falling for the 16th month in a row.