Downsizing - The Silver Generation

Mike Cole

Much of the house marketing by property companies is aimed at younger audiences and families, with the more mature clientele often aligned simply to retirement developments. But as people live longer and stay healthier for longer, 60 is the new 40 (at least I’m convincing myself that in preparation) and the affectionately titled Silver Generation is a market too substantial to be ignored or marginalised any more.

Add to this that it’s considered this younger generation are the first in a very long time of history expected to be worse off than their parents and you also have to consider this market is a lucrative, more financially secure populous than has previously been the case.

So in property terms, what are this demographic looking for in a home?

1.    Less Maintenance – Whether for reasons of inclination or capability, they generally don’t want to be keeping large gardens or undertaking regular maintenance projects on dated infrastructure.

2.    Quality – Fixtures and fittings of a genuinely high standard will be valued by this audience. Cheaper shiny alternatives will not cut it.

3.    Location – Unlikely to want to live in a busy or noisy environment, preferring to be surrounded by respectful, well-mannered neighbours. That’s not to say they want to just be around fellow pensioners.

4.    Security – Often more conscious of protecting what they have and wanting to feel safe as they become a little more vulnerable physically.

5.    Lower Running Costs – They may well be asset rich and cash poor. Keeping a lid on monthly bills in modern, energy-efficient accommodation makes sense.

Downsizing from older style large houses into quality, well-appointed and spacious apartments holds huge appeal to this generation. They will pay a premium to obtain it because they are more worried about the quality of life they have now than asset growth. It is also in short supply. Too much modern development has been about packing maximum units into minimum size to secure the best return and that is understandable from a developer’s / land owner’s perspective. The problem is that there are now too many of these types of apartment, the market has slowed and they aren’t selling for as much or as quickly.

Whereas larger, higher spec 2 and 3 bedroom apartments covering off the criteria I have alluded too, would categorically still be selling well. The demand would be there and there is a very limited supply.

If you are reading this and have been thinking about downsizing for some of the reasons listed above, your starting point is probably to understand the value of your existing property. Call one of our branches for a No Obligation valuation on your asset, which will at least ensure you know what you have to play with. After that, you can then start sourcing the ideal properties. There aren’t lots to choose from, but they definitely exist if you keep your eyes peeled.