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Sheffield’s Baby Boomers and OAPs Are Caught in a Trap

Local OAPs and Baby Boomers are facing housing trouble and discomfort, finding themselves in an increasingly difficult situation.

The current OAPs are sitting on £8.82bn worth of residential property. But while the elderly people of Sheffield are looking to downsize, the younger generation are seeking for property to move into.

There are 28,452 households in Sheffield which are owned by people aged 50-64 who are about to pay off their mortgage. There are a further 32,176 households in Sheffield which are mortgage free, owned by 50-64 year-olds. In total, Sheffield Baby Boomers and OAPs are sitting on £20.15bn worth of Sheffield property.

Being labelled ‘Generation Trapped’, this group of people are occupying 107,859 Sheffield properties, but they feel trapped in their homes and are looking to move.

The English Housing Survey stated that almost 50% of the Generation Trapped own houses that are under-utilised, meaning they have at least two bedrooms more than they need.

These houses could be better utilised by younger families, but older people are reluctant to downsize due to the strenuous struggles of moving house.

There are a number of reasons that the poor Generation Trapped tend not to go ahead with their desired downsize. Charity, ‘United for all Ages’, suggest that these reasons include the lack of housing options, the cost of moving, family reasons such as staying nearby children and grandchildren, and the overall hassle of the process of moving out and finding somewhere else to live.

So, how can this be sorted out?

The situation is clear, we need more options for Generation Trapped and we need to be providing them with more advice and guidance to help them with their downsize.

This, in turn, will result in more properties being made available for younger people, while also ensuring that our last-time buyers are content with their home- a situation in which everyone is happy.

More needs to be done by powerful bodies such as the Sheffield Council and the Planning Department to help Generation Trapped members find a suitable property which is convenient for these people looking to move and downsize.

The likes of Theresa May and Philip Hammond could consider stamp duty tax breaks for those looking to downsize, to further help this stressed and struggling generation, and to encourage the flow of properties being occupied by the younger generation too.

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