Agents question if it’s right to celebrate how much property wealth over-65s hold
By James Greenwood of Stacks Property Finders
But James Greenwood of Stacks Property Search says the crisis is more about housing stock and less about price and wealth.
He said: “The main problem with housing in the UK is that people are living in the wrong house. There are 750,000 empty houses in the UK, and if these were combined with the spare accommodation enjoyed particularly by the empty nest generation, there would be a significant increase in availability.
“Changes in inheritance tax rules mean that grandparents will continue to live in houses that are too big for them because it makes sense financially when many would prefer to downsize and release capital to put a roof over their children’s heads. Perhaps this could be offset by a spare bedroom levy?
“The cost of moving has become so high in terms of fees and taxes that the turnover of property has slowed dramatically. And the buy to let market has grown because the older generation choose to invest in property rather than pensions and other financial instruments sold by a financial services industry that’s regarded with some suspicion.
“Generation rent isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Buying a property costs around 6% to 8% of equity in terms of fees and this goes some way to justifying rent paid in the short term for a more mobile generation.”