Watford homeowners are staying put

15th November 2019
15th November 2019 Annette Newman

21% of Watford homeowners do not think they will ever move to a new house again according to new research from Audley Villages. When discussing their current homes, it was found that those in the town have lived in it for an average of 14.2 years, slightly lower than the national average of 16.2 years.

Research out today from retirement village provider, Mayfield Villages, shows 21% of homeowners in Watford do not think they will ever move to a new house again. When discussing their current homes, it was found that those in the town have lived in it for an average of 14.2 years, slightly lower than the national average of 16.2 years.

When asked about addressing the UK housing shortage, two in five (40%) of those living in Watford pointed to greater support for older people who want to downsize their property as a means of stimulating the housing market. The research also revealed strong support for a reduction in stamp duty and more suitable housing options for older people with 38% and 33% of those surveyed calling for this.

Although there is little current appetite to move home, over two in five (44%) of those in Watford have an unused room in their home suggesting a greater amount of living space than is necessary. Alongside this, well over half (56%) have a spare bedroom and on average they have used it just 8 times in the last six months.

With the number of over 75s in the UK likely to double in the next 30 years1, the issue of limited housing options is becoming an ever more pressing concern. Specialist housing, including retirement housing, currently only accommodates 5% of the over-65 population2 so supply will need to significantly increase to even maintain existing levels of provision as the population ages.

Nick Sanderson, CEO at Mayfield Watford, commented: “For those looking to move, their great motivation can also be their greatest barrier. They are desperately looking for the right property but they simply don’t exist or are currently filled, a fundamental flaw in the UK’s housing system and one that needs immediate attention.

Many in Watford are living in homes too big for them yet have no plans to move. Rather than solely focusing on first time buyers, policy makers should be encouraging downsizing while taking a crucial look at building high quality specialist housing which can meet the demands of the ageing population. This should come hand in hand with other initiatives like a reduction in stamp duty which would support those looking to move out of their family homes. Only with a multi-pronged approach will we be able to solve the housing crisis, and the government need to start by looking at our ever-increasing ageing population and their needs.”

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Annette Newman

Deputy Editor of TrendLife Magazine. Often daydreaming, always happy. If you only do one thing today, do it more stylish than you did before.