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Homes for the retired aren’t retirement homes

The current debate about the generation wealth gap may be missing the point.

Older homeowners considering downsizing may not be moving because they don’t want to live in retirement villages but in well-connected communities near their families and facilities. Housing crisis resized pic

It's not about baby boomers sitting on a property goldmine against youngsters who can't afford to buy a home. It's about building the right types of home to meet individual demands.

Who says all pensioners want to live together so let's build lots of retirement flats or villages? And first time buyers in starter home hamlets? The developers - that's who. 

While some of the baby boomer generation may well be happy to grow old together many others want to carry on living active lives and having youngsters as neighbours would undoubtedly help them do that.

Equally who said there is an insatiable demand for executive style properties? Surprise, surprise the housebuilders again. And some unaffordable lending has played a part historically in pushing up prices – remember self-cert mortgages or 125% mortgages? Thankfully, no more.

What is required is some imaginative thinking which enables family members to help younger relatives onto the property ladder. At the Family Building Society we have done exactly that by creating our Family Mortgage.  You can investigate it here:

If you do decide to downsize and find the right property, seeing a financial adviser is also a good idea as they can help you with your retirement planning and prepare to fund anything from holidays and conservatories to long-term care fees.
Meanwhile the developers should be looking to build small one level properties with good infrastructure and facilities near to family homes for the older generation, thus releasing homes for those who wish to trade up and helping to unblock the logjam that undoubtedly exists. 

The Family Building Society also helps older borrowers move home because we recognise that some retired people need support when leaving the place they’ve undoubtedly lived for decades.

Combine this with developing proper starter homes for the young and we might begin to see a solution to the housing crisis. 

Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage

By Paul Quaid           

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Family Building Society
Ebbisham House
30 Church Street
Surrey KT17 4NL
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