Why are home movers downsizing?

It's not just to cut costs

Why are home movers downsizing?

While a third of those opting to move home in the current market are downsizers, it’s not the increased cost of borrowing or living that is driving them to reduce the size of their home.

It is the fact they live in an empty nest, according to the latest research by real estate agency Quickmove Properties.

The firm commissioned a survey of nearly 7,000 UK home sellers who had sold over the last year, and the results showed that the primary reason why movers decided to downsize was due to an empty nest (33%), either because their children had left home permanently, or they had suffered bereavement.

Retirement (18%) also ranked high, as did reduced mobility due to age or health reasons (13%), with the need for an easier home maintenance (12%) also a contributing factor.

Despite the fact that increasing interest rates had pushed up the cost of borrowing, reducing or clearing mortgage debt (10%) ranked just fifth in the list, followed by the requirement to lower their cost-of-living by reducing household bills (9%).

However, while mortgage costs became a secondary concern to the nation’s downsizers in terms of driving their move to a smaller home, 40% said that downsizing actually reduced their mortgage payments by 50% or more. It was also found that 80% of downsizers released equity of up to £150,000 when making their move.

“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,” commented Mark O’Dwyer (pictured), sales director at Quickmove Properties.

“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.”

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