People over 55 are now more unlikely than ever before to move into a smaller home when their children have moved out, says a new survey.

An insurance company, who carried out the research into what older people plan to do with their homes found that downsizing was not being seen as a priority for them, suggesting that people wish to stay in their forever homes forever. The results of this survey follow the recent story that older people whose children have flown the nest are the most content.

Although moving into a smaller property presents a way of releasing money from the home to enhance their pension payments, the findings showed that over 55s would be more likely to use equity release on their current home – but use the extra money to buy another property.

The survey showed that 62 per cent of over-55s have no intention of leaving to go to a smaller property, which could perhaps be put down to a shift in emotional attachment to the family home, or could indicate that currently the majority of pensioners are wealthy enough to not need to release money from their home.

With many more affordable and attractive solutions on the market, such as home lifts – which are also useful for future-proofing – to modify the family home in order to make it safe as people age, people have fewer reasons to wish to leave the family residence, neighbourhood and community which they have built for themselves.

The research also asked respondents what they would do with their children’s bedrooms once they had moved out, and a surprising 75 per cent said they would leave their kids’ bedrooms untouched.

Nearly half of respondents – 46 per cent – said they would wait at least a year to redecorate or repurpose a child’s old room, whilst one in 50 wouldn’t even wait 24 hours before getting to work on a vacated room.

The fact that fewer over-55s are looking to downsize, and that some are even looking to buy another home, could have an impact on the property market. Another set of research carried out by a global estate agent provider has revealed that people over the age of 65 own 43 per cent of the UK’s property.