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Fewer people are downsizing homes as 'adult children are taking longer to fly the nest'

The average price gap between people down-selling and buying back into the market is €345,129.

Image: Dominic Lipinski

ADULT CHILDREN LIVING in their family home longer than before has resulted in a drop in the number of people downsizing their homes, a new report has suggested.

A report by property consultants Savills found that average price gap between people down-selling their home and buying back into the market is €345,129.

Despite this significant potential windfall, the report found a drop in trading down (as in, selling a bigger property to buy a smaller one) over the past number of years.

Downsizing homes as a proportion of Savills housing sales has fallen from 13.4% in 2011 to 5.3% in 2016.

The authors of the report put this down to a number of factors – among them adult children remaining in the family home longer.

Census 2017 found that there was an increase in the number of couples in Ireland living with children aged 20 or over.

Graph The number of children over 20 still living at home has risen since 2011. Source: Census 2016

This is despite the number of people in their 20s falling by 87,282.

“This trend is particularly evident in less affluent areas where family money may not be available to help young adults onto the housing ladder,” said Dr John McCartney, director of research at Savills Ireland.

Another factor influencing this drop in downsizing is the rise in house price inflation. People who own more valuable properties tend to benefit more as house prices go up.

For this reason, the report argues that people may be opting to hang on to their more valuable property rather than sell it.

Thirdly, the report finds that the quality of stock available for people looking to trade down is not high enough to entice peopel to sell their homes.

Read: There are 70,000 people looking to buy houses – but not enough houses to buy

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Cormac Fitzgerald

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