May 29, 2024

FirstPort’s estate agency Retirement Homesearch sees rise in homes for sale

UK Retirement Property Market, Q1 2017 | FirstPort

FirstPort, the UK’s leading retirement property specialist releases its latest 2017 quarterly review of the UK market and beyond.

Retirement Homesearch, the estate agency of FirstPort, claims it is seeing a very small rise on last year for new instructions and current stock levels.

Nick Freeth, Managing Director of Retirement Homesearch highlights:

“In the retirement market new stock levels are more steady but the availability of proceedable buyers is a more critical factor and will continue to be a key focus for the market.”

Mr Freeth adds: “The changes afoot may well give a boost to the market as people have to seriously consider freeing up some of their assets and downsize – for example, it’s predicted that there will be more financial hardship – particularly for women – who will have to wait longer than expected to draw their state pension.”

Retirement Homesearch says the rise in sales is at odds with the open market picture from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, which shows the supply of new stock falling for the 16th month in a row.

Ian Price, Retirement Proposition Divisional Director at St. James’s Place Wealth Management, adds: “Releasing cash to fund retirement by downsizing the family home is often a highly emotional time, but is a path well-trodden by retirees in the UK.

“In these times, where inflation rates are out-pacing returns on cash in the bank and we are all living longer, your money needs to go further, so reviewing your financial and estate planning needs for retirement makes good sense.”

Changes in the financial landscape may mean that a typical dweller of a retirement property may change, with an increase of ‘working residents’.

FirstPort then considered the cases of four working residents, but referenced only one.

Ivy Brownlie, is 85 and works at a local Doctors’ surgery. She says: “I can’t afford to retire just yet! Our development is for people who want to live independently so suits my working lifestyle. Some (residents) do raise an eyebrow when I tell them I can’t attend a social event because I have to go to work!”


  1. Michael Epstein says

    Given the age of residents it will of course be natural for a supply of retirement apartments to come up for sale on a regular basis. And of course sellers are “encouraged” to use Retirement Homesearch. Indeed Retirement Homesearch For Sale boards are permanently affixed to many developments.
    It should be noted that many retirement flat sellers have inherited the flat and are desperate to sell as they cannot afford the service charges. So it would be of interest to know the achieved selling prices (rather than the volume) and how many flats end up being sold to companies specialising in the rental market?

  2. Michael Epstein says

    So In a nutshell, Nick Freeth of Retirement Homesearch is saying more people have put their Retirement development flats up for sale, the number of new build flats for sale has either fallen or at best stayed stable, and that wonderful Firstport speak phrase “the availability of proceedable buyers is a more critical factor” basically means that purchase inquiries are not turning into sales. Wonder why that is?

  3. When I was desperate to sell my flat for the obvious reasons (the usual Peverel/First Port rip off practices), I first of all used an online agent, which produced no buyers. I then tried a high street estate agent but still no buyers. In the end I was forced to use Retirement Homesearch and eventually reluctantly accepted an offer below my purchase price.

    The only good news was that I made a complaint to the Property Ombudsman against Retirement Homesearch for not giving details of the exit or event fee in the sales brochure (contrary to the requirements of Regulation 6 of the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008). To my surprise the Property Ombudsman found for me on the grounds that Retirement Homesearch had not followed good practise.