Helping over 60s with housing affordability | Homewise

Is affordability impacting your property search? If it is something you’re concerned about as you start the hunt for your new home, you are not alone.

Since the end of the pandemic in 2020 many people have been negatively affected by an affordability crisis that hit the property market. If you are over 60 and living on a fixed income, you may face a unique challenge when it comes to finding the right property for you during your property search. But there are solutions out there available to help you.


What are the affordability challenges to owning a home for over 60s?

One of the biggest financial burdens that homeowners face is mortgage debt. Despite having reached, or nearing, retirement, many who own their homes may still have outstanding mortgages to pay off, which can add to any financial pressure they might feel.

There are several options you may be considering to reduce your household running costs as you start your property search, including downsizing, which can present its own challenges, including:

  • Costs associated with selling a home

  • Stamp duty on a new property

  • Finding a home in a slow-moving market with reduced stock

  • Emotional attachment to a family home

With the property marketing in the UK currently suffering from issues when it comes to supply and demand, it’s possible that if you have specific housing needs, you could find it difficult to find a property that meets your long term requirements.


couple looking for house, property for sale, colourful terrace


What are the current issues with the rental market?

If you rent, it’s possible that things could become more difficult, especially following the Spring 2024 budget when the financial benefits which often encouraged private landlords to enter the market were reduced.

Monthly rental charges have also increased a considerable amount, meaning that older renters who have a restricted income may find themselves in a more vulnerable position. This is not aided by the fact that over the last few years, the number of properties available has reduced. Demand is outstripping supply and prices are rising accordingly.


What are the solutions for over 60s?

There are a number of solutions that can go towards helping resolve the current housing challenges that people aged over 60 may face when searching for an affordable property. After research, the Local Government Association has provided the following recommendations:

  • Increasing the availability of affordable housing, including new build properties

  • Adjusting housing benefits for those on a lower fixed income

There are also alternatives such as intergenerational living (something which is quite common in countries such as France, India, and Japan) and co-housing (intentional communities run by the residents). There is also another bespoke solution available that you may not have heard of previously, the Home for Life Plan.


What is the Home for Life Plan?

One solution to the affordability issues affecting people aged over 60 is the Home for Life Plan. The plan allows individuals to secure their dream home for up to 59% less than the listed market price and gives them the right to live in that chosen property for life. With no monthly rent or mortgage payments to make many of the financial pressures that can be associated with home ownership are removed.

The Home for Life Plan offers several benefits, including:

  • Enjoy a secure future: With the Home for Life Plan you have the right to live in your chosen home until you move permanently into full-time care, or pass away

  • Free up funds – so you can enjoy your retirement, maybe pick up a new hobby, travel or put money aside for a rainy day

  • Guaranteed inheritance – you can safeguard a percentage of your property’s future value to leave to loved ones, or provide an early inheritance

Smiling and happy couple in their kitchen

Rising costs, fixed incomes, and an overall lack of policy to help resolve the issue of affordability when searching for the right home for the future, has created a complex and worrying situation for the over 60s that needs to be addressed. If you’re over 60 and considering your options, the Home for Life Plan can offer you with a way to secure a property that could help you to enjoy stability and financial freedom in retirement.

It's exciting when you’re starting the search for a new property, somewhere you can settle and start the next phase of your life. The Home for Life Plan can help to increase your search options and move into your dream property without compromise.

Everyone is unique and whether you are moving to be nearer family and friends, or want to downsize, the Home for Life Plan could help you to achieve your moving goals. Every plan is tailored to the individual, so if you’d like to find out how much you could secure your next home for, as well as finding out about inheritance, try our quick online calculator, or get in touch with a member of our expert team.