Is House Blocking a new Expression?

Published: 02/06/2024 By Allan Fuller

New research says older people are living in larger homes than they need. 

Will this create a new expression, House Blocking?!  

It is usually men who are reluctant to move, we had a wonderful couple whose large house I had valued several times. When we sold it and found a perfect smaller home for them. I met their daughter, and I said your Mum has wanted to move for a while, she replied, yes, about thirty years!

  • This research was carried out by the property website Zoopla, it reveals that some 42% of over-65s live in a home that is 'larger than they need'. Zoopla says this equates to 2.6m homes that could be used by younger families.
  • Nine in ten over 65s have at least one spare bedroom and half have two or more. Older homeowners have a collective 10 million spare bedrooms between them and that more than four in ten homeowners aged 65 or over say they live in a home which is 'larger than they need.' Zoopla says this equates to 2.6 million homes in the UK that are being under-utilised and may be better suited to young families and first-time buyers.
  • The research also found that nine in ten homeowners over 65 either lived alone or just with their partner, yet more than seven in ten lived in homes with three bedrooms or more.
  • Nine in ten of those surveyed have at least one spare bedroom and half have two or more.
  • A fifth of the over 65s surveyed say that in a typical year, they use none of their spare rooms at all with a quarter claiming they have other rooms in their home - such as dining rooms or reception rooms - that go unused most of the year.

The  conclusion has suggested that many people over 65 are living in larger homes than they need, which the property portal claim is preventing young people from getting onto the property ladder.

Our view is that we encounter a considerable amount of ‘downsizing’ people moving to something smaller, easier to look after and cheaper to run, but usually wanting to stay in the area.

What we always recommend is not leaving it too late in life when moving can be too much of an upheaval to contemplate.