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 UK's housing crisis and spiralling NHS costs linked to our ageing population.'
Tom Parry, of Ellis & Co Tonbridge, said: 'There's a lot of the older generation still living in substantial family houses in Tonbridge, so it's certainly something I have noticed.
'I visited one recently where they either needed to adapt the house or move, but they've lived there for 40 years and just don't want to leave.
'They only tend to move if there is a medical reason that dictates they can't stay in the property and this often means that younger members of the family who may have benefited from the equity are stuck in rented accommodation or lower end housing.
'I don't think things will change any time soon, at least until there is a mentality shift among the over-55s who remain in these bigger family homes.'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 Ellis & Co or speak to one of our branches who will be happy to help.