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‘Downsize me!’ What Londoners want

by LLP Staff Reporter
3rd Dec 20 1:21 pm

Barratt London has recently seen a significant influx of downsizers to their Ridgeway Views scheme. As such, it has decided to find out more by conducting a survey (with 1,002 respondents) amongst over 50’s living in London to understand more about their attitudes to downsizing.

The research, based on ONS demographic weighting, found that 13% have downsized already, just 23% have plans to downsize and 33% think they may never downsize. Of these, 66% live in a 3 bedroom plus property, with 70% owning their home outright, without a mortgage.

The top three requirements for downsizers post UK-Lockdown, is access to private outdoor space (garden/balcony [most important/valued 70%]), being close to family (65%) and maintaining their physical health (65%). For those with plans to downsize, 71% state that moving will give them an opportunity to explore a new area, 69% say downsizing is much more than moving to a smaller property, with other factors such as health, lifestyle and community coming into play.

Interestingly, 52% saying that when they downsize they’d like to stay in London, however only 10% say they want to move to central London.

Moving home is a big life decision, but for downsizers, the key goals for downsizing are to move away from an older home to remove the need to carry out property maintenance (46%), release equity/help finance retirement (58%) and reduce household bills (43%). Interestingly, only 9% want more garden space when they downsize. For 45% of downsizers, stamp duty continues to be a factor that discourages downsizing, and 52% of recent downsizers stated that stamp duty was a key driver of reluctance to downsize. Of those that plan to downsize, 60% want a home that does not need improvement.There are some differences between the sexes, men are more interested in releasing equity (32% vs. 24%), whereas women want to reduce monthly outgoing costs and general upkeep. Women also prioritise moving closer to friends and family (44% v.s. 28%), whereas men are twice as likely to want quicker links into London (15% v.s. 10%).

As part of the research, respondents were asked their perceptions of Ridgeway Views, on the basis of a location-blind description and visuals. They were asked where they think the development is, 56% imagined it to be outside of the M25, with just 5% correctly guessing it is in Zone 4. Once told the location, 54% have a positive reaction with the rest not able to believe it! Of those planning to downsize, a staggering, 55% would look at the development as a potential location.

Pam Reardon, Director of Sales and Marketing at Barratt London commented: “Ridgeway Views is a prestigious development in Mill Hill Village, and offers its residents the very best of both worlds, with the countryside just seconds away and Central London reached in just 35 minutes. New builds aren’t synonymous with retirees, despite being low maintenance, secure and connected. However at our Ridgeway Views development we have seen a significant number of over 50’s purchase here, citing their reluctance of giving up the city entirely but wanting more access to open space. Many of our retirees have moved from large homes in neighbourhoods such as Harrow, Hampstead, Highgate to Mill Hill Village, still allowing access to friends and family locally.

Those looking to buy through Barratt London, can also benefit from the Movemaker scheme, the unique arrangement ideal for buyers who have a home they are trying to sell. It means estate agency fees are taken care of and your home will have a better chance of selling with the management and assistance of Barratt London throughout the sale.

Perched on a hilltop position, Barratt London’s Ridgeway Views offers a choice of luxurious two & three-bedroom apartments from £695,000 and four-bedroom detached houses from £1,500,000. The new 448-home development that opens up views across green fields, it enjoys a residents gym and concierge. It is under a 20 minute walk from Mill Hill East, and just a short drive from Mill Hill Broadway.

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