Soaring property prices and new Federal Government budget announcements have compelled more than 1.6 million homeowners to downsize over the next 5 years. New surveys have confirmed a staggering amount of Baby Boomers, and many Gen-Xers, plan to cash in on thriving property prices by downsizing their family homes to boost their retirement funds.
Record levels of downsizers are currently migrating from our capital cities, flooding key regional, lifestyle locations. As the volume of properties listed for sale increases over the months and years ahead, analysts expect home prices in Sydney and Melbourne to soften, and property values in our regional markets to continue to surge.
Here’s a great article from saving.com that we thought was worth sharing.
The number of older Australians wanting to sell their homes in the next few years has increased, new data shows. According to data analysed by Digital Finance Analytics (DFA), 1.62 million households are looking to sell down their current property within the next five years, an increase of about one-third from 1.2 million a year ago.
DFA’s rolling survey of more than 50,000 households found 69% of these prospective downsizers are between the ages of 60 and 70; 17.5% are over 70, and 11.6% are 50-60.
The remaining 1.9% are below 50.
DFA’s data shows just over 70% of these properties to be sold are houses with either three or four bedrooms, while less than 20% are two or three-bedroom units.
More than half (54.8%) of them are valued below $1 million, but almost half are valued at a million or more.
Nationally, 71% of those selling are seeking to buy a property below $1 million in value, which is close to the national median value.
“Thus, we expect to see a significant number of larger properties coming to market ahead,” DFA principal Martin North told Savings.com.au.
“These statistics are going to have a considerable impact on the state of the market – especially at the upper end of the market.”
Where are homeowners downsizing?
Areas in each of the biggest states – New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland, South Australia, and Western Australia – are among the major downsizing hotspots, with areas around Melbourne, “strongly represented”:
Why are they downsizing?
The value of these properties being sold is immense, expected to reach $1.6 trillion dollars, which is up from $1 trillion in 2018.
The total wealth extracted from the market will be around $300 billion, and accessing this wealth is one major reason why.
“These generations understand the amount of equity they are sitting on in their home,” Mr. North told The Australian Financial Review.
“They feel prices have reached a sweet spot – that prices are peaking.”
Other reasons for downsizing could be to ensure a more comfortable retirement, move to a regional area, to move to a property requiring less maintenance, and more.
Another key driver in this surge among would-be downsizers is the recent changes made in the 2021/22 Federal Budget.
In May’s Budget, the government announced it would be changing the rules around contributing downsizing savings into superannuation.
Specifically, it is allowing over-60s to deposit up to $300,000 ($600,000 for couples) from the sale of their home into superannuation if they downsize, down from the previous limit of over-65s.
So from 2022, a larger chunk of that 69% of downsizers aged 60-70 will be able to use this scheme, providing more funds to ensure a comfortable retirement.
“The measure will allow more older Australians to consider downsizing to a home that better suits their needs, thereby freeing up the stock of larger homes for younger families,” the government said in its budget papers.
Take up of this scheme is low, however, with only around 22,000 using it in the three years since it was introduced.
However, CoreLogic head of research Eliza Owen said the downsizing age reduction “is particularly important in the current climate”.
“The measure may free up more established housing by incentivising home sales sooner than at age 65,” Ms. Owen said.
“Housing demand remains high against a low supply of available properties; total listings volumes remain -23.4% below the five-year average level.
“However, the measure will not come into effect until July 2022.
“This means motivated downsizers aged 60 to 64 may wait for the scheme to come into effect before selling, and any impact of increased listings, as a result, would only impact the housing market then.”
Downsizers in Tasmania and the ACT can also earn stamp duty discounts or concessions.