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Politicians propose stamp duty exemption for older downsizers

An All Party Parliamentary Group on Housing and Care for Older People is recommending that the government offer a package of financial support and advice to older people who may wish to downsize. Such a ‘Help to Move’ scheme could include a stamp duty exemption for older people buying lower value homes, an equity loan offer and comprehensive advice linked to new pension freedoms. The aim of the package would be to help older people make decisions about where and how they live after retirement.

Exempting older people purchasing homes worth up to £250,000 from stamp duty would reduce their transaction costs, but it is also likely to lead to a net gain for the Treasury because of subsequent property transactions.

According to a survey by Demos some 58% of over-60s – equal to around eight million people currently living in seven million homes – are interested in moving. Furthermore, one-third of over-60s specifically wanted to downsize, while 25% were interested in buying a retirement property. If a ‘Help to Move’ scheme were introduced and encouraged all those wanting to downsize to move home some 4.3 million family homes would be freed up, easing the pressure on the housing market.

Posted on Saturday, 29th November, 2014
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