Housing, Downsizing and Older People


Welcome to the Finding the Best Fit research programme

We face a great conundrum in New Zealand, house prices have soared, which leave many older people with very valuable houses. But selling up and downsizing doesn’t always release lots of equity and for some people there may simply be no alternative dwelling suitable or affordable to downsize into in their communities.

This research assessed different downsizing options: reducing ownership shares; substituting larger for smaller dwellings; leaving owner occupation; subdividing; or substituting housing in high for low priced areas. Our research found that for many older people housing choices are about rightsizing not downsizing.  In addition, although most wanted to be actively involved in decision making, information to suport long-term planning could be hard to find.

As a result we’ve used our research findings to develop a practical decision support tool.  You can find out more about the tool here.