Age is just a number, apparently. Well, not when it comes to property, according to new research from Legal & General.
Astonishingly, the huge number of homeowners over the age of 55 could see the raft of property they own reach a huge £1trillion this year.
Currently the over-55s, dubbed 'Last Time Buyers' by the L&G research, own £938 billion of UK housing stock, but most own homes that are too substantial for their needs.
Indeed, according to the report 39% of the LTB market are considering downsizing, although 49% of that group said they hadn't due to a lack of suitable properties available and 29% claimed they had stayed put because properties that did meet their needs were simply too expensive.
That would suggest those homeowners falling into the LTB age group are remaining in unsuitable family homes due to a dearth of suitable housing stock.
So what does it all mean? Well, according to L&G, it is this LTB bracket that holds the key to unlocking the UK housing market, which, as we all know, has flatlined in recent months.
'If rightsizers were able to move to a property more aligned to their desired lifestyle and needs, vast swathes of homes would be freed up for growing families and second steppers,' said Phil Bayliss, head of later living at Legal & General.
'This, when matched by the huge health benefits proven to come from age appropriate housing, such as a 50% reduction in GP visits and 40% reduction in NHS spend, means that increasing the number of properties available to these buyers is the most efficient way to help solve the UKâ€™s housing crisis and spiralling NHS costs linked to our ageing population.'
Howard Davis, Director of CJ Hole Clifton, said: 'I've been saying this for years, because people are living longer but in Clifton it tends to be the over-75s with 'stuck' equity, because the over-55s are still living very healthy and active lives in their family homes.
'In decades past, we would have seen their equity pass down to younger family members and they would come through into the market as first-time buyers with sizeable deposits.
'But because people are living so much longer, that is not happening and won't do for some time. Maybe in 10 years' time we will see that happening again but at the moment, young people simply don't have that equity.
'But this isn't the only problem halting the property market. Older people sitting in bigger properties is one angle, but there are other wider issues as well.'
If you're thinking of downsizing, or are just looking for a more suitable property for your needs, you can view all available properties from CJ Hole or speak to one of our branches who will be happy to help.