Think of luxury flats in up and coming London areas and you’ll probably imagine that they’ll be inhabited by trendy young professionals who work in the city or the music industry. In fact, the complete is opposite of some of the most fashionable new developments in the capital, and the younger generation are making way for a whole new demographic. Downsizers- 65’s and over who are looking to move into smaller properties now the kids have left home- are now looking for a new lease of life in London, and they’re heading for the trendiest penthouses in town.
Premium new builds in the capital deliver a wealth of benefits that the Downsizers are keen to snap up. “On site cinema, gyms and private chefs are among the numerous perks on offer, which coupled with the convenient central London locations make these developments hard to resist”, says Central London estate agent, LDG. The group is swapping their rambling country houses for shiny new flats.
It shouldn’t be that much of a big surprise. M&M Property explains- “Modern sixty somethings are not the Darby and Joans of yesteryear, they’re the children of the 50s and 60s- times when things were changing, exciting new fashions and bands were emerging and people were challenging traditional values.” Far from wanting to put their feet up and grow old gracefully, this group of house hunters have plenty of life left in them and want to spend it having as much fun as possible.
Downsizing makes good sense. Over half of over 65s in London are living in houses that are far larger than they actually need, averaging two extra bedrooms per property. When you consider the fact that the same age group own 35% of all properties in the capital, adding up to £253 billion of combined value, it’s easy to see why we have a property crisis on our hands.
In the two years prior to writing, downsizing still only accounted for less than 8% of sales, so while the group are making waves in London penthouses it’s still not as popular a move as it could be. There are still plenty of people living in the countryside who are reluctant to sell up and move somewhere smaller and more fashionable; probably in part down to the economic uncertainty caused by Brexit. However, with lots of exciting new developments on the cards and the property market set to soar again within the next two years this is quite likely to change.
The downsizing phenomenon is particularly pleasing for the grown up children of those looking for a smaller new home. Parents are now becoming much more involved in deposit payments than they’ve ever been before, doing everything they can to help their kids get a foot on the ladder. “Downsizing will allow them to free up the cash they need to set their children on the path to financial security at the same time as beginning an exciting new chapter in their own lives” says Eden Harper.