According to a study conducted by Bower Retirement Services, older home owners who want to release equity in their properties and downsize are unable to do so due to the costs.

The research indicates that about 20 per cent of older home owners would like to move to a smaller property, but the cost of moving home and the lack of suitable properties makes it impossible for many. Recent comments by a mortgage sector manager from the Financial Conduct Authority, Lynda Blackwell, suggested that the government should move its attention from first time buyers to those who are at the top end of the property market. However, the Financial Conduct Authority said that the comments were not representative of the FCA policy.

The study revealed that more clients were considering selling their homes and moving to a smaller property to release money to fund their retirement. One of the main reasons why people weren’t moving was the fear of losing contact with friends and family. Another reason was the lack of suitable properties and the costs associated with moving home. Although down sizing can release funds, the costs of moving can reach thousands of pounds, with stamp duty costs, removal fees, legal fees and mortgage fees.

The government introduced reforms to inheritance tax regulations, to encourage people to downsize. However, it appears that fewer people are concerned with the amount of money they leave to their children, as they are often financially better off.

Moving home at any age can be costly, which is why many decide to seek help from a CeMAP trained adviser.

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