Rise in the number of older people selling their homes

Falling pension incomes and the rising cost of living have led to a rise in the number of older people selling their homes and moving into rental properties in order to fund their retirement, according to latest research.


Tenant referencing specialist HomeLet said there had been a 16 per cent increase in the – admittedly small number – of people aged between 66 and 70 who have sold their home and become tenants over the past 12 months. The firm said 1,074 people had swapped home ownership for rental accommodation.

It also found that 43 per cent of new tenants in July aged over 66 were previously living in a home they owned, compared to 37 per cent in July 2010. The firm said the fact that about 2 million pensioners in the UK are living in poverty suggests older people are selling their homes to release equity to fund their increasing living costs.

John Boyle, managing director of HomeLet, said: “Pensioners are already feeling the pinch with the spiralling costs of fuel, energy bills and basic food. Combined with a reduction in income, old people are increasingly struggling to pay to live through their retirement. This suggests the number of pensioners having to sell their home to move into rented properties could increase even more over the coming years.”

The HomeLet survey emerged as a Department for Work and Pensions report on life expectancy in 2011 shows that today’s 20-year-olds are three times more likely to reach 100 than their grandparents (and twice as likely as their parents), and by 2066 there will be more than half-a-million people in the UK aged 100 or above.

The report, which uses forecasts from the Office for National Statistics, also indicates that a girl born in 2011 has a one-in-three chance of living to their 100th birthday.