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Empty nesters encouraged to seize downsizing opportunities

by Staff Reporter8 minute read
The Adviser

Rebecca De Britt

Empty nesters in large family homes are currently in the best position to sell since 2007, according to Raine & Horne CEO Angus Raine.

Mr Raine said that for many older Australians, the family home has acted as a quasi-superannuation fund for the past six years, as retirement savings tied up in superannuation were ravaged by the global financial crisis.

“However, the worm has turned for the economy,” he said. “Confidence is back, interest rates are low, and younger buyers are looking to take the next step up the property ladder. But there is a shortage of suitable homes to meet this demand.”

Research from BIS Shrapnel shows that 20 to 34 year-olds are looking to move into larger family homes; however, there is no major evidence of an increase in the rate of downsizing among retirees.

Mr Raine pointed out that selling a family home is a tax-free transaction, which older Australians can use to unlock a significant amount of capital tied up in their primary residence.

“A decision for retirees to downsize also provides a social dividend as it will help address some of the housing shortages in many of our capital cities,” he said.

“I would encourage any empty nesters considering a property move to get their skates on or be swamped by a wave of retirees looking to downsize into smaller homes.”

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