Renting in retirement: why the over-60s are jumping off the property ladder
Renting in retirement. Since selling their five-bedroom house in London’s Belgravia two years ago, former newscaster Sir Martyn Lewis and his wife, Patsy Baker, have been living in a rental property a few streets away.
Home is now a more manageable three-bedroom, four-floor townhouse with a courtyard garden.
The couple didn’t need all that space so downsized, says Sir Martyn, a former newsreader best known for his announcement of the death of Diana, Princess of Wales, on the BBC. Since selling up, there has been a 15 to 20 per cent drop in London prices. “It was a terrific decision for us,” he says. “With the reduction in prices we can cover the rent for quite a while and wait before buying our next home.
They are two of a growing number of people aged over 60 in the UK who are choosing to rent, according to research by the Centre for Ageing Better, which reports that 414,000 older people are privately renting, up from 254,000 in 2007. It estimates that by 2040 a third of people aged over 60 could be living in private rented accommodation.
It also suggests that private landlords, local authorities and housing associations need to do more to ensure housing is suitable for older people.