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New research conducted by Retirement Homesearch has revealed a gap between the age people imagine they will downsize and the reality, with data showing that the age UK adults expect to downsize or move into a specialist retirement property increases as they get older.

Whilst the UK’s younger generation sees themselves moving into a retirement property at the mean age of 65, Briton’s aged between 55-64 year-olds say this won’t happen until they’re 70 with only 6% of over 65s surveyed having already downsized or moved to a specialist home.

The top reasons given for this inertia were finding the right property (48%), having to get rid of excess belongings (36%) and the emotional strain of leaving a family home (34%). Those surveyed were also asked what their most important factors were when choosing a new home to downsize to which showed that being close to family and amenities was the top reason (40%), with an easy to run, modern apartment as second (27%).

These results also seemed to vary with age, with an easy-to-run, modern apartment as one of the most important factors for those aged 65+ at 34%, but less important for 18-24 year-olds at only 21%, showing a shift of priorities as we're getting older.

Nick Freeth, Managing Director, Retirement Homesearch says: “What the data clearly shows is that navigating through the retirement property market to find a home that is right for you is hard, especially when added on top of the stress that moving property already brings.

Efforts to pay more attention to the factors which are important to people looking to downsize and increase the amount of specialist retirement properties on offer could go a long way to ease the pressure Britons are faced with when making this decision.

What’s more, our latest quarterly review figures show the knock on effects of last year’s political turmoil and economic uncertainty with new buyer registrations down 25% and sales down 4% compared to the previous year. As the UK is now faced with housing shortages and under-occupied family homes it is more important than ever before that we encourage the ‘last-time buyer’ movement and incentivise the older generation to take the leap.”

Click here to view the Quarter 4 2016 review.

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