High percentage of Loughborough OAP’s own their own home - worth £952.2m of property!

Of the 5219 households in Loughborough where the head of the household is 65 years or older, an astounding 3863 - that's 74% - of those are owned, which is equal to the national average of 74.1%. It sounds great yet nothing could be further from the truth.

I chat with many Loughborough pensioners who would like to move but cannot as there is a lack of such properties for Loughborough mature people to downsize into.  Due to their scarcity and high demand, Loughborough bungalows on average get a 12 - 22% premium per square metre over two storey properties.  To add insult to injury, a recent NHBC reported that only 1% of new builds in the Country were single storey bungalows - compared to 7% in the mid 1990’s.

Loughborough OAP’s are sitting on £952.2m of equity in these Loughborough homes!

In a survey conducted a couple of years ago by YouGov, they established that just over one third of homeowning people aged 65 and over in the country were looking to downsize into a smaller home. Yet, the Tory’s over the last nine years have appeared to target all their attention on first-time buyers with strategies such as Starter Homes to safeguard the youngsters of the UK in not becoming perpetual members of ‘Generation Rent’. Equally though, this doesn’t address the long lasting under-supply of suitable retirement housing essential to the needs of Loughborough’s hastily ageing population. Lamentably, the Loughborough’s housing stock is tragically unprepared for this demographic shift to the 'overextended middle age’, and this has created a new 'Generation Confined’ quandary where older people cannot move.

Also, those older Loughborough retirees’ who do live in the limited number of Loughborough bungalows are finding it difficult to live on their own, as they are unable to leave their bungalow because of a lack of sheltered housing and affordable care home places.

This means that those older Loughborough retirees can't leave their Loughborough bungalows, younger Loughborough retirees in their larger 2 storey family houses can't buy those Loughborough bungalows (occupied by the older retirees) and those Loughborough people in the 30’s and 40’s can't buy those larger 2 storey family houses (occupied by the younger retirees) they need for their growing families. It's like everyone is waiting for everyone else because of the bottleneck at the top. 

For those wanting to see the complete stats for Loughborough as whole:

Loughborough OAP’s by Tenure of their Home
Shared Ownership
Council Housing
Private Rented
Living Rent Free

Loughborough, and the rest of the UK’s, property prices have soared over the last 50 years because the number of properties built has not kept up with demand.  With restrictive planning regulations, migration, people living longer and excessive divorce rates - meaning one family becomes two - we need, as a country, 240,000 properties to be built each year since the Millennium to just stand still.

At the turn of the Millennium, the country was constructing on average 180,000 to 190,000 households a year. That figure dropped in the five years after the Credit Crunch to 135,000 and 145,000 households a year.  Although we built 217,000 last year, we still have all those 19 years to make up for.

The answer? Allow more land for starter homes, bungalows and sheltered accommodation because land prices are stifling the property market as the large building firms are more likely to focus on traditional houses and apartments than bungalows - basically because they make more money from them.

My thoughts for the savvy Loughborough property investors  – until the Government change the planning rules and allow more land to be built on – bungalows, especially ones that need some TLC after someone has passed away, are a great bet for flipping and even have potential rental returns for future property investment as more and more OAP’s will be renting in the decades to come.

If you would like to discuss the Loughborough property market or chat about any potential investment please feel free to call us on 01509 260777 or email me at j.lee@belvoir.co.uk