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Where do people move to when they retire?

Alex Johnson

23be868dbe1d678fbb7e4db47a09c26bbb26ecc1 300x199 Where do people move to when they retire?Figures from Prudential suggest the South West of England is the most popular place to live in the UK for retirees, with more pensioners per head in Christchurch, Dorset than anywhere else in the country.

Its analysis of UK census data shows that 30 per cent of those living in Christchurch (pop: 50,000) are retired.

South West England is the most popular region in the UK for retirees generally. Over a million pensioners live there and five of the UK’s top ten places to live for retirees are in the region. Alongside Christchurch, other West Country retirement hotspots include West Somerset (second in the UK overall: 29 per cent), East Devon (fifth: 28 per cent), East Dorset (sixth: 28 per cent) and West Dorset (eighth: 27 per cent).

The London Borough of Tower Hamlets has the lowest proportion of retirees of any local authority in the UK, with only 6 per cent of people living there aged over 65.

Vince Smith-Hughes, retirement expert at Prudential, said: “Perhaps unsurprisingly, there’s a tendency for people to move out to the country when they stop working, where property prices can be lower and the quality of life is often thought to be higher. The census figures back up the findings of our previous study into home ownership by retired people. Many are freeing up funds to boost their income or reduce their living costs by downsizing or moving to where property prices are lower. And according to our new research, those moves tend to be to the countryside.”

Meanwhile, think tank Demos has released a report arguing that building more retirement properties would free up more than three million homes. Its analysis suggests that 58 per cent of over-60s are interested in moving but feel restricted by a lack of suitable alternative housing or a fear of an unfamiliar environment.

Those interested in downsizing are sitting on around £400bn of housing wealth and the report says that helping them move would free up 3.29 million properties, including 2 million three-bedroom homes.

Deputy Director of Demos, Claudia Wood, who authored the report said: “The majority of older people in three, four and five-bedroom homes want to downsize. Overcoming planning barriers to supply to meet this demand would benefit the economy, younger families stuck on the housing ladder and older people themselves. It’s a mystery why successive governments haven’t taken this on board already.”

Pictured above is a 3 bedroom waterside terraced house in Rossiters Quay, Bridge Street, Christchurch, for sale with Denisons for £795,000.

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  • SandySure

    “Those interested in downsizing are sitting on around £400bn of housing wealth and the report says that helping them move would free up 3.29 million properties, including 2 million three-bedroom homes.”

    How does downsizing free up properties? Space, yes, but properties? Unless people move into their holiday homes.

  • FreudianSlip

    Ten more years of the Liverpool Care Pathway will quickly solve this demographic problem of too many retirees.


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