According to new projections by the Office for National Statistics, England’s population is set to rise by just over 2.5 million over the next eight years and the population of over 65-year-olds will rise by 15.4%.
The Government, local authorities and developers are being urged to implement a range of new initiatives to make new homes more adaptable and to encourage older home owners to downsize.
A recent report ‘Silver Cities: Planning for an Ageing Population’, which was commissioned by the Grosvenor Group, found most elderly people don’t move house due to a lack of options within their communities.
Vicky Bibiris, a Partner at Location Location estate agency in Stoke Newington, said: “With a shortage of suitable homes for older residents to move to and with barriers like stamp duty making even downsizing a costly move, it’s easy to see why many stay in larger homes rather than downsizing.
“Offering reduced stamp duty for so-called ‘last-time buyers’ could be a way of incentivising older people to downsize and that could help free up family homes. But in order for that to work we need a better supply of suitable smaller homes.”
Research indicates more than half of those aged over 65 live in under-occupied homes. One idea put forward includes insisting developers and councils incorporate homes for older owners in any new large-scale developments – in the same way as they currently incorporate affordable housing.
The Silver Cities report concluded older generations are typically far more active than their predecessors and don’t need or wish to go into a care home.
Vicky added: “Developers would do well to create smaller homes close to local amenities which are accessible, have a strong sense of community and which offer conveniences like a concierge service.”
By 2029 a fifth of England’s population will be aged 65 or over.
Posted 5th July 2018
ABOUT THE AUTHOR