Max Turner, head of new homes at Savills Suffolk, looks at how priorities have changed for older buyers.

It could be motivated by a desire for a more manageable, easily maintained property in a convenient location, or you may be looking for somewhere smaller because your children have left home. You might want to free up some capital ready for retirement, or help a family member to get a foot on the housing ladder.

East Anglian Daily Times: Max Turner, head of new homes at Savills SuffolkMax Turner, head of new homes at Savills Suffolk (Image: RMG Photography)

Whatever the reason, there comes a point in most people’s lives when they decide the time is right to trade in the family home and downsize.

According to our research, the over-55s now account for 75% of all housing equity in the UK. And a new kind of downsizer also appears to be at large – one who is not only cash-rich having amassed considerable property equity over the years, but is also energetic, modern, outward looking and young at heart.

In fact, the new downsizers’ property priorities are similar to those of affluent young professionals with dual incomes and no heavily dependent children.

Our statistics show that around a quarter of those buying a luxury new build in UK towns and cities are over 60 years old, eschewing the notion that most retirees look for a tranquil bungalow by the sea, or a peaceful country retreat. As well as designer kitchens, bathrooms and all the mod cons, they are looking for the best of both worlds – proximity to shops, bars, restaurants, theatres and galleries.

The new downsizers’ wish list still includes important factors like security and accessibility. However, the latter is now more likely to mean good road and rail links and relative proximity to an international airport. Security, meanwhile, is often less about the owners’ personal safety and more about their aspirations to lock up and leave to travel the world.

Like the majority of buyers in today’s market, energy is also a key concern: the costs of lighting, heating and hot water within a new build are, on average, half those of second-hand properties.

We have several new schemes that tick many of the boxes today’s downsizers are looking for. Barleyfields in Debenham for example is a charming collection of two, three and four-bedroom homes including bungalows and detached houses, with prices starting from £280,000. The Lawns in Stonham Aspal meanwhile has five three-bedroom bungalows with a guide price of £695,000.

Downsizers play an increasingly important role in today’s housing market – and that only looks set to continue.

For advice on the new homes market in Suffolk, contact Max Turner at Savills Suffolk on 01473 234826 or