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Sharp increase in OAPs selling homes to boost their pensions

Posted on 2011-08-16

Rising living costs and squeezed pensions have caused a significant rise in older people selling their homes and moving into rented properties to boost their income, new research says.

There’s been a 16% increase in the number of people aged between 66 and 70 who have sold their home and become tenants over the past 12 months, according to new research by tenant referencing specialist, HomeLet.

And now 43% of new tenants aged over 66 were previously living in a home they owned, compared to 37% in July 2010, reveals HomeLet, the market leading tenant referencing and specialist insurance provider for the lettings industry.

With around two million pensioners in the UK living in poverty, according to the Department of Work and Pensions, the reason for this increase in older people selling their homes could be to release equity from their property to fund their ever increasing living costs.

A YouGov poll for the National Association of Pension Funds (NAPF) also showed that 43% of people who aren’t retired say they can’t afford to save for retirement, and over half (55%) are not confident they will have enough money in their old age.

John Boyle, Managing Director of HomeLet, said: “Pensioners are already feeling the pinch with the spiralling costs of fuel, energy bills, and basic food. Combined with a reduction in income, old people are increasingly struggling to pay to live through their retirement. This suggests the number of pensioners having to sell their home to move into rented properties could increase even more over the coming years.”

Joanne Segars, Chief Executive of the National Association of Pension Funds, said: “Sadly many people get a rude shock when they retire and find themselves struggling for money, especially with the rising cost of living. Those without savings or a private pension are particularly hard-pressed, and may need to sell their home to unlock some cash. This can be very distressing.

“Others will have planned on using property as part of their pension and, having done well out of the housing boom, may be selling up to downsize or rent until the market settles.”

HomeLet’s Rental Index has access to the largest volume of data on agreed rental amounts in the UK and includes data gathered from over 3,000 letting agents – more than any other report on the market.

A summary of the report is available online by visiting  

For a full copy of the report please email

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