Many older homeowners 'reluctant to downsize'Downsizing is seen by many approaching retirement as a sensible way to provide an income boost during those later years, but for those who have retired the reality is somewhat different.
A new survey by Just Retirement shows that there are a number of factors that are making older people reluctant to leave their cherished homes behind.
Around half of people with between one and five years to go until they retire said they would rather sell their property and move to a smaller one than opt for equity release.
However, only a third of those already in retirement would do the same, preferring instead to remain in the home they have lived in for many years.
Common financial reasons given for not downsizing were the cost of selling, repurchasing and moving, as well as lower future house price gains on a smaller property.
But there were emotional reasons too, including the desire to remain close to family or friends and the need for extra space when relatives come to visit.
"The traditional view is that downsizing is a way older people can free up some capital and cut their living costs," said Stephen Lowe, group director of customer insight at Just Retirement.
"It is only when you question those people thinking about going through with it that you get a sense of how reluctant they really are."
16 August 2012, 23:30