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What Type of New Homes Do the Over 55s Market Segment Buy?

Buyers over 55 are an increasingly visible and active segment of the UK’s new-build housing market.

A recent report examined why the over-55’s relocate and what type of homes they purchase. 

The research on these over 55s new homes, which spanned the 2010-2016 period, is based on a sample of nearly 1,500 homeowners over the age of 55 who moved to their present home when it was a new build. 

For many of these individuals, the key motive was equity release, while 46% of the survey respondents invested more capital in their home when moving, and slightly less than one-third upsized to a bigger home with more bedrooms. Among those choosing to downsize, there was a strong preference for two-bedroom homes. 

In general, a large percentage (40%) of households in the study moved either up or down to a four-bedroom home, making this the most common of over-55s new homes. This conclusion challenges the assumption that older property owners typically downsize to smaller properties, and reveals a range of motives for moving. In terms of bedroom numbers, 39% of the report subjects downsized, 28% upsized, and 33% same-sized. 

Structural Defects Insurance

While the report reveals several different motivations among the over-55s who move, some primary themes appear, all of them having important implications for housebuilders.

Older buyers who think about downsizing are around 20% more likely to buy a new-build home, and are especially attracted by the thought of living in a property that is easy to manage, has low maintenance and running costs, and has a new home warranty. 

Although over-55s tend to find new-build homes more attractive, the report stated that they feel that marketing for these properties is more directed towards young people and families. They want more to be done to represent the needs of older buyers in this sector. Those aged 55 to 75 also have a strong antipathy to be described as ‘old’, and the report suggests that there are valuable lessons to be learned for marketing to this demographic.

Specialists in Construction Insurance


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