Generation Trapped
Photo of Jodie Hoggarth By Jodie Hoggarth

York’s ‘Generation Trapped’ and the £9.88bn legacy

Posted 29/03/2017

Last week, we wrote about the plight of 20 something's across the UK - with an emphasis on Selby - often referred to by the press as ‘Generation Rent’. Attitudes to renting have certainly changed over the last twenty years and this change could be permanent. Whilst a minority of this Generation Rent feel trapped, the majority don’t – making renting a choice not a predicament.

The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) predicted that the private rental sector is likely to grow substantially by 1.8m households across the UK in the next 8 years, with demand for rental property unlikely to slow and newly formed households continuing to choose the rental market as opposed to buying.

However, my real concern for York homeowners and landlords alike, as I discussed a couple of months ago, is our mature members of the population of York. The current OAP’s (65+ yrs in age) in York are sitting on £4.56bn of residential property... however, what about the ‘Baby Boomers’? The 50yr to 64yr old people and what their properties are worth – and more importantly, how the current state of affairs could be holding back those younger Generation Renters.

In York, there are 8,542 households whose owners are aged between 50yrs and 64yrs and about to pay their mortgage off. That property is worth, in today’s prices, £2.39bn. There are an additional 10,471 mortgage free York households, owned by 50yr to 64yr olds, worth £2.93bn in today’s prices, meaning...

York Baby Boomers and OAP’s are sitting

on £9.88bn worth of Property

york oap baby boomers

These York Baby Boomers and OAP’s are sitting on 35,337 York properties and many of them feel trapped in their homes, and hence I have dubbed them ‘Generation Trapped’.

Recently, the English Housing Survey stated 49% of these properties owned by the Generation Trapped, as I have dubbed them, are ‘under-occupied’ (under-occupied classed as having at least two bedrooms more than needed). These houses could be better utilised by younger families, but research carried out by the Prudential suggest in Britain it’s estimated that only one in ten older people downsize, while in the USA for example one in five do so.

The growing numbers of older homeowners who want to downsize their home are often put off by the difficulties of moving. The charity United For All Ages, suggested recently that many are put off by the lack of housing options, 19% by the hassle and cost of moving, 14% by having to declutter their possessions and 14% by family reasons such as staying close to children and grandchildren.

Helping mature York (and UK-wide) homeowners to downsize at the right time will also enable younger York people to find the homes they need – meaning every generation wins, both young and old. However, to ensure downsizing works, as a country, we need more choices for these ‘last time buyers’. 

Theresa May and Philip Hammond can do their part and consider stamp duty tax breaks for downsizers, our local Council in York and the Planning Dept. should play their part, as should landlords and property investors to ensure York’s ‘Generation Trapped’ can find suitable property locally, close to friends, family and facilities.

Posted 8 months ago

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