Evesham’s ‘Generation Trapped’ and the £1.55bn legacy

Last week, I wrote an article on the plight of the Pershore 20 somethings often referred to by the press as ‘Generation Rent’. Attitudes to renting have certainly changed over the last twenty years and as my analysis suggested, this change is likely to be permanent. In the article, whilst a minority of this Generation Rent feel trapped, the majority don’t – making renting a choice not a predicament. The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) predicted that the private rental sector is likely to grow substantially by 1.8m households across the UK in the next 8 years, with demand for rental property unlikely to slow and newly formed households continuing to choose the rental market as opposed to buying.

However, a real concern for Evesham homeowners and Evesham landlords alike, may be the more mature population of Evesham. The current OAPs (65+ years of age) in Evesham are sitting on £708.1m of residential property. But what about the ‘Baby Boomers’, the 50yr to 64yr old Evesham people and the value of their properties? More importantly, how is the current state of affairs holding back those younger Generation Renters?

In Evesham, there are 1,741 households whose owners are aged between 50yrs and 64yrs and about to pay their mortgage off. That property is worth, in today’s prices, £429.8m. There are an additional 1,684 mortgage free Evesham households, owned by 50yr to 64yr olds, worth £415.8m in today’s prices, meaning…

Evesham Baby Boomers & Evesham OAPs are sitting

on £1.55bn worth of Evesham Property

These Evesham Baby Boomers and OAPs are sitting on 6,293 Evesham properties.

Recently, the English Housing Survey stated 49% of these properties owned by the Generation Trapped, as I have dubbed them, are ‘under-occupied’ (under-occupied classed as having at least two bedrooms more than needed). These houses could be better utilised by younger families, but research carried out by the Prudential suggest in Britain it’s estimated that only one in ten older people downsize, while in the USA one in five do so.

The growing numbers of older homeowners who want to downsize their home are often put off by the difficulties of moving. The charity United for all Ages, suggested recently many are put off by the lack of housing options, 19% by the hassle and cost of moving, 14% by having to declutter their possessions and 14% by family reasons such as staying close to children and grandchildren.

Helping mature Evesham (and UK) homeowners to downsize at the right time will also enable younger Evesham people to find the homes they need – meaning every generation wins, both young and old. However, to ensure downsizing works, as a country, we need more choices for these ‘last time buyers’.

Theresa May and Philip Hammond can play their part and consider stamp duty tax breaks for downsizers, our local authority can play their part, as can landlords and property investors to ensure that Evesham’s ‘Generation Trapped’ can find suitable property locally, close to friends, family and facilities.

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