Effective downsizing options for older Australians

Downsizing—commonly defined as the act of older people moving to a dwelling with fewer bedrooms, a smaller land area and a lower value is viewed by Government as a way to address affordability and use the housing stock more efficiently. Underpinning this view are two assumptions: that where the number of bedrooms exceeds the number of permanent residents, dwellings are not being fully utilised; and that there are appropriate and available dwellings into which older households can move. This research examined the extent to which downsizing forms part of older Australians’ housing preferences; the actual and perceived benefits of moving; as well as the availability of housing options into which this cohort can downsize. It proposes a number of policy strategies for delivering a range of housing alternatives for this cohort to meet their downsizing housing aspirations.