Homeowners aged over 55 are almost as likely to upsize to a new home as they are to downsize, according to NHBC research.
Its report shows that 46% of over-55s had invested extra money in their latest house move and that 40% of them had chosen a four bedroomed house, despite an average occupancy of just two people.
Of the moves made between 2010 and 2016, 39% downsized to a home with fewer bedrooms, a third moved to a home with the same number and 28% upsized to a home with additional bedrooms.
Rather than downsizing, many older homeowners were still looking for a similar or increased amount of space – often to accommodate visiting relatives or to provide room for hobbies and crafts.
The findings challenge the assumption that an increasing number of older home owners will downsize to smaller properties, freeing up larger houses for younger families.
Over-55s make up half of all homeowners and account for about 330,000 home moves a year. The number of people aged over 55 is projected to rise from nearly 19m in 2014 to over 26m in the next 25 years.