In response to your article on the launch of the Redfern Review (‘Taylor Wimpey’s Redfern on his housing policy review’, PropertyWeek.com, 04.02.16), we warmly welcome the review, and are pleased to see housing in later life as one of its five main themes.

Clive Fenton of McCarthy and Stone

Clive Fenton of McCarthy&Stone

Understandably, up until now much of the policy focus has been on supporting first-time buyers and ‘generation rent’, but there is an equally big prize on offer by helping ‘generation stuck’.

Only last month we launched a report on the ‘generation stuck’ dilemma being created as older people who want to downsize can’t, due to a lack of choice in the market. One in three (33%) of the UK’s homeowners aged 55 and over are considering, or expect to consider, downsizing, but a chronic undersupply of suitable properties for later life is preventing them from moving.

With forecasts showing that 60% of all household growth over the next 20 years will be created by older people, this situation is only going to get worse unless action is taken now.

The issues of first-time buyers need to stop being viewed in isolation. Freeing up larger housing helps younger people and first-time buyers as well, enabling them to move up the housing ladder while also allowing older people to release the equity in their homes.

We look forward to working with Pete Redfern and the review panel to consider what can be done to address the adequacy (creating a greater supply of retirement housing), affordability (through changes such as a stamp duty exemption for older people downsizing) and awareness of housing options in later life.

Clive Fenton, CEO, McCarthy & Stone

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