Norwich Union shows that there s no place like home

Article date: 2 December 2004

Research highlights emotional costs of moving to asmaller house for people aged over 55

Norwich Union research has shown that home is where the heart isfor many people aged over 55.

The survey of homeowners over the age of 55 was commissioned byNorwich Union Equity Release Ltd. It found that 63% of people agedover 55 have lived in their homes for more than 20 years, and 30%would avoid leaving their home at all costs. Most of the peoplesurveyed (70%) said they had a strong emotional attachment to theirhome.

The emotional costs of moving home make downgrading to a smallerhouse a difficult choice for many older people. Nearly two thirds(65%) of people said they would find moving home a very stressfulexperience.

Research findings also showed:

  • 59% of people would miss their neighbours and neighbourhood ifthey had to move to a different property
  • 57% would miss their garden
  • 41% would find it hard to leave behind the family memoriesthat are associated with their home

Mark Kelly, of Norwich Union Equity Release Ltd, said:“Our homes are not just filled with memories; they are alsooften our biggest asset. With house prices in the UK at recordlevels, older people who are living longer and wanting to enjoy amore fulfilling retirement may be looking to their houses as asource of income.

“While downsizing to a smaller property to release capitalfrom a home can be attractive, it is clear from our research thatselling up and moving on is not as simple as it sounds. Many olderpeople do not want to have to leave their homes, friends andmemories, and do not want to incur the stress involved in movinghouse.”

Mr Kelly added: “Taking out an equity release plan canhelp homeowners to realise both the capital locked in theirproperty and the dream of staying in their own home.

“Anyone considering equity release needs to thoroughlyunderstand the options available to them and be confident that theyare making the right choice. Good advice plays a vital role in thisunderstanding, but knowing the right questions to ask and havingbackground knowledge can help people feel more confident and incontrol about these discussions, which is important for such amajor decision.”

Norwich Union Equity Release Ltd is offering a free guide‘Unlock your future’ to anyone who is interested infinding out more about taking out a Lifetime Mortgage. To request afree copy, consumers should call 0800 015 4015 or visit


Press office contacts: Out of hours
David Gwyer01904 45282807800 699508
Rob Pell01904 45265907800 699563
Louise Soulsby01904 45261707800 699526
James Evans01904 45279107800 699525


Notes to Editors

Research conducted by MORI, March 2004. 300 people aged over55.

Minimum property values apply.

Norwich Union is the market leading lifetime mortgage providerwith a market share of 40% (Source: Safe Home Income Plans Q32004).

Full written terms and conditions are available on request.Norwich Union is the UK's largest insurer. It is the UK's largestprovider of life, pensions and investment products and one of theleading IFA providers. IFAs provide around 75% of the company'slong-term savings business in the UK.

Norwich Union has strategic alliances with building societiesand other leading UK brand names including Tesco Personal Financeand The Royal Bank of Scotland Group. Norwich Union's news releasesand a selection of images are available from Aviva's internet presscentre at

Norwich Union Equity Release Limited No 3286484. Registered at 2Rougier Street, York, YO90 1UU. Authorised and regulated by theFinancial Services Authority.

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