Housing market support skewed to first-time buyers – but what about older people?

Housing market support from the Government is skewed towards first-time buyers, a report has claimed.

Research by law firm Winckworth Sherwood and social care and housing provider Housing LIN, claims the older generation is forgotten by the state when it comes to the property market.

The report, ‘The other end of the housing market: Housing for older people’, noted a marked rise in the number of private developers moving into the so-called later living market and fears over high service charges holding back decisions to move.

A poll of housing and social care providers as part of the research found 80% believe the Government’s housing focus is unfairly skewed towards first time buyers and 46% believe housing should be an enforceable human right.

Respondents welcomed the inclusion of private developers but said there were fears about the level of service charges and rent.

Charlotte Cook, a partner specialising in later life housing at Winckworth Sherwood, said: “An individual’s final home should be the pinnacle of their housing journey and not one of compromise. All too often that is not the case.

“Our survey shows that whilst local authorities and private developers are responding in some interesting and innovative ways, almost all feel that the Government has overlooked this important and expanding housing market in favour of headline grabbing initiatives aimed at first-time buyers. Yet in 2017 more people will turn 70 than ever before.”

Jeremy Porteus, managing director at Housing LIN, said: “People aged over 65 are involved in some 40% of all housing moves.

“The government and our industry need a long-term strategy that addresses the expectations and the care and support needs of all involved that reflects the scale of this market, and to introduce measures that give older people confidence about the decisions they must take.”


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