The problems facing last time buyers

The problems facing last time buyers haven’t received much press attention, it is always about the first time buyers. The problem with this is the last time buyers are just as stuck when they do come to downsize, the cost of moving and lack of properties on the market makes it hard for them to find somewhere suitable. A lot of older homeowners feel they can’t move out of their properties which aren’t suitable for them anymore.

Facts About Last Time Buyers

  • Over half a million over 55s won’t move because of there aren’t any suitable properties for them to move to.
  • These problems have been emphasised by the worsening housing shortage at each stage of the housing ladder.
  • Many of these over 55s which are homeowners feel trapped in the properties that aren’t suitable anymore for them, either because they are too big or too expensive to run and maintain.

Property Assets Worth Over £938 Billion

According to reports by Legal & General insurance, these last-time buyers aged over 55 are sat on residential property worth over £938 billion, this figure is set to rise to over £1 trillion this year. The advantage of the over 55s downsizing is that it will cut the cost of household bills and the profits from the sale will top up their pension pot.

40% Of Over 55s Want To Move

The amount of over 55s looking to downsize has increased which sits at nearly 40 percent, a lot of these potential buyers are trapped in their properties because of the UK’s chronic lack of suitable homes for these older people to move into. Last year, house builders built only 7,000 properties suitable for the over 55s, this is only a fraction of the amount they need, over the whole housing market sectors this area is most under supplied. With over 80% of the over 55s that are thinking of selling and downsizing, stay put because there is no suitable property to move to or the properties are too expensive.

What Action Could The Government Take

If the would-be downsizers could move easier, these home could be freed up for families or second steppers, which could solve the problem which the property market is seeing. According to Dax from Home House Buyers “As the population ages, the local authorities and government need to take action and build more home suitable for the over 55s, these properties should be exempt of any taxation such as stamp duty or maybe some inheritance incentive tax relief.” All the focus is on first-time buyers and the struggles they are going through, the government cut stamp duty for them last year. Last time buyers are going through the same struggles but no help has been offered to them.

The Bigger Picture In The Housing Market

The government is focusing on the first time buyer issues and not looking at the bigger picture the housing market is in the midst of a shortage epidemic. We must build enough of the right type of properties for both the first time buyers and the last time buyers to solve this problem.


A lot of these last time buyers don’t have a choice and are forced to stay where they are, this has a knock on effect along the whole housing market, which doesn’t look to end anytime soon.