A new survey from property website assertahome.com has found that although two thirds of househunters on the site are buying homes more expensive than the ones they're selling, one third are releasing cash from their property by moving to a cheaper home.
On average, these househunters are releasing £112,000 of equity as they move down the ladder.
Among those trading down, assertahome.com identified four key groups of people. Downshifters made up 54% of respondents. Aged 46.5 on average, the downshifters have reached the point in life where priorities are changing.
They enjoy a healthy household income of £46,800, well above the national average. The move to a cheaper home has been made in order to release cash from their properties to supplement a less pressured lifestyle or repay the mortgage.
Retirees made up 19% of respondents. Aged 60 on average, retirees reported an average household income of £23,500. Divorces and Separations also made up 15% of respondents. Partners who are separating are 34.5 on average and between them earn a comfortable £47,500.
And Empty-nesters made up 12% of respondents. For this group, their children have grown up and left home leaving the parents in a home too large for their needs. Empty-nesters are the wealthiest group. Aged 47 on average, they have an average household income of £58,300.
Jim Buckle, managing director of assertahome.com, says: “There is so much focus on people moving up the property ladder that those trading down are often overlooked. The downshifters looking for a better quality of life are the largest group and we were surprised how many of them there are. Britons are clearly far more likely to make radical lifestyle changes than ever before.
“And with property prices having risen so strongly in recent years, it is not surprising that many people want to cash in on the substantial equity they have built up in their homes to help fund a new lifestyle – £112,000 on average according to the survey.”