A Help to Buy style package that would include a stamp duty exemption should be introduced in the UK to help older home owners to downsize, it is claimed.
It would have a dual benefit of not only allowing over 65s to live in more suitable homes but also to free up housing stock for first time buyers and young families, according to a new report from McCarthy & Stone.
It’s latest research has found that 22% of adults aged 65 and over would be more likely to move if there was a stamp duty exemption for downsizers and it points out that this is equal to 2.6 million people and is a substantial increase from just 10% in 2017.
A stamp duty exemption is also supported by under those aged under 30 with 50% of this age group saying that it is a good idea for retirees at a time when the secondary housing market is stalling.
The firm is calling on the Government to act and says that such a move could kick start sales across the housing supply chain, freeing up much needed housing for first time buyers and second steppers.
According to the UK’s leading retirement house builder, by downsizing those 2.6 million people could release £230.8 billion worth of equity from their homes to boost their finances while also freeing up a total of £924.9 billion of housing stock.
According to Clive Fenton, chief executive of McCarthy & Stone, moving costs, particularly stamp duty, are holding home owners back from downsizing. ‘There’s plenty of focus on building homes for first time buyers, but last time buyers have been forgotten,’ he said.
‘With the UK’s population rapidly ageing, we’re facing a demographic time bomb. So, what we need is a Help to Move package, as well as Help to Buy, which would encourage downsizing for the millions of older people who want to move,’ he explained.
‘Downsizing is good for older people. Benefits include improved health and wellbeing, friendship and a potential financial boost from equity release. It also benefits younger people. A onetime stamp duty exemption for older downsizers would encourage up to 2.6 million more people to move, freeing up much needed stock for families and first-time buyers. Downsizing is also good for the Treasury with additional gains made from greater property transactions,’ he added.