LOTS of people are doing it these days, and if others knew it could potentially raise a six-figure sum, they might be joining in, too. The phenomenon is, of course, downsizing.
A report from Lloyds Bank reveals reducing bills and preparing for retirement are the most common reasons for moving into a smaller residential property.
People stand to raise an average of £97,722 by downsizing home, while those doing so in London can typically raise a staggering £272,000. But while those looking to retire may be the key population within the downsizing market, it is also an option being widely considered by younger generations as they look to survive the tough economic climate.
Some 43 per cent of downsizers, for instance, want a smaller property to help reduce utility bills compared to 37 per cent who see downsizing as a way to help support them in their later years. The average age of those looking to downsize is just 40, with 26 per cent of potential downsizers aged just 26 to 35. A further 26 per cent are between 36 and 45-years-old while 24 per cent are in the 46 to 55 age bracket — driven by the financial rewards on offer.
Ed Church, of Strutt & Parker, which has an office in Pangbourne, said: “Downsizing needn’t be miserable. Leave the blues behind and view this instead as an exciting opportunity. A large property with five acres is a typically perfect family home, but it’s not really where retirees want to see out their days.
“Downsizing allows them to shake off the remaining mortgage, and embrace the opportunity. The bravest downsizers don’t seek a smaller replacement of their former home, but something offering a new and inspiring way of life.
“Perhaps a modern barn conversion, or a town house with a small garden that can be locked up and left while they travel the world blowing the kids’ inheritance.”
For those trading down early, the potential amount that can be raised by downsizing from a detached property to a bungalow has jumped by 12 per cent, or £10,221, over the past decade to an average of £97,722.
The potential amount of cash that home owners can raise by downsizing their property from a detached home to a semi-detached has risen by 13 per cent, or £13,910, to £116,474 during the same period.
It certainly paints an attractive picture — one which means an increasing number of people are now open to the possibility of such a move.
Some 45 per cent of home owners planning to sell their property in the next three years claim they would like to downsize, of which 32 per cent are looking to move to a detached house, 26 per cent are looking to move to a semi-detached house and 45 per cent are looking to move to a bungalow.
Overall, 29 per cent of those considering moving to a smaller property are doing so earlier than they expected.