Downsizing property? Consider renting instead of buying


As research reveals that downsizing is a major part of the current UK property market, we ask whether you’re better off leaving home ownership altogether.

New research indicates that downsizing is the most common reason for property sales in the UK market, with 45% of home owners stating that the main reason they’d sell their home in the next three years is to move into a smaller property and either reinvest their money or just save the cash.

And the property that these downsizers are looking for is a fairly even spread, with 45% looking for a bungalow, 32% a detached house and 26% a semi-detached. Generally, retirees look to downsize, but the rise of detached and semi-detached offerings points to the recession’s continuing pressure on many families’ budgets.

The average age of downsizers was around 40 years old according to the survey, and 26% of people looking to downsize were aged 26-35.

It’s Scotland that leads the way in terms of how much you can make by downsizing. Downsizers north of the border could make 22% more now than they could a decade ago. Research also indicates that that more people are looking to move much sooner than used to be the case – 34% of people were looking to move after living in their current house for fewer than ten years.

An alternative to downsizing

If you’re not sure you can commit for the length of time that buying a house requires, and you want to reduce your costs, why not consider renting instead of buying? Thousands of people have discovered over the course of the recession that renting is a viable option and one that is taken up enthusiastically in Europe.

Being unburdened by the need to finance your next property with the proceeds of selling your current one makes for a much more flexible move and it is far easier to rescale your home from a rental again if your situation changes. Tools like the Telegraph’s Rent or Buy calculator gives you an idea of whether you’ll be likely to save money by renting, as is often the case.

So do your research, but do take into account the benefits of renting if you’re one of the increasing numbers of people looking to downsize their home. Sign up for Lettingweb alerts to find all the best properties in your area.