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Builders Benefit As Retired Couples Decide To Go Back To Town

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http://business.timesonline.co.uk/tol/busi...icle6814405.ece

Empty-nesters and retiring couples are riding to the rescue of developers trying to sell apartments in city blocks.

Recent figures indicate a new trend where sixtysomethings are turning to an active social life in town rather than heading for the cottage by the sea or a quiet life in the country.

Grosvenor and Berkeley Homes report that the “grey pound†is snapping up a growing number of inner-city apartments in their most recently completed schemes, which have struggled to sell during the downturn. In some instances buyers are seeking a flat in town while retaining their main home.

Grosvenor, the developer of the One Park West scheme in the centre of Liverpool, said that in the first half of this year, rather than selling to the traditional target market of first-time buyers and buy-to-let investors, a growing proportion of flats had been going to cash-rich retired couples who wanted to be closer to the action.

Berkeley Homes has said that sales at its Gunwharf Quays development in Portsmouth, where prices start at £165,000 for a one-bedroom flat, have been boosted by older buyers who want the convenience of living on one floor but prefer not to buy a bungalow.

A spokesman for Berkeley Homes said: “We have seen a rise in older downsizers moving from four-bedroom family homes, who like the easy maintenance as well as the convenience and extra security. There are no gardens to keep and they also like the modern decor, which does not require any work.â€

The trend marks a fundamental shift in the type of buyer for modern developments as many younger people and buy-to-let landlords remain locked out of the housing market by harsh lending criteria. That has emerged amid further evidence of a stabilisation in the housing market, as Land Registry data showed that property prices jumped at the fastest rate for five years in July.

A 1.7 per cent increase in the prices paid for properties in England and Wales was the biggest monthly rise since May 2004, bringing the annual decline to 11.7 per cent, the smallest decrease since last October.

King Sturge, the estate agent selling flats at One Park West, where studios cost £90,000, said that the retired buyers saw the apartments as a better place to keep their money than savings accounts.

So oldies deciding to buy property.

Won't this affect capital ratios if people start withdrawing cash and buying houses?

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Berkeley Homes has said that sales at its Gunwharf Quays development in Portsmouth, where prices start at £165,000 for a one-bedroom flat, have been boosted by older buyers who want the convenience of living on one floor but prefer not to buy a bungalow.

These particular individuals probably dont want to go to Switzer-killyouformoney-land and will end up throwing themselves of the top of that beacon of malinvestment.

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It's probably the result of a few ye olde folks seeing no returns on their saving and choosing to use the money to buy a small flat to live in while they rent out their big 4 bed detached family home for £1200 a month to suplement their pension.

It's a one off anecdotal.

Keep your panties on the go about your business, everything is still going as expected.

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