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Letter calls for Rishi Sunak to cut stamp duty to encourage downsizing

6 July 2020 | General

A letter written to Chancellor Rishi Sunak from retirement professionals has called for a stamp duty cut to help downsizers, This is Money reports.

Among those involved are Gavin Smart, chief executive of the Chartered Institute of Housing, David Sinclair, director of the International Longevity Centre, and Eamonn Donaghy, chief executive of the National Federation of Occupational Pensioners.

The letter said: “Demographic change means there is a pressing need to ensure our housing stock is suitable to do this.

“By 2040, around one in four people will be aged 65 or over, equating to nearly 18 million people, an increase of 5 million from today.

“However, the UK’s housing stock is not adequate to meet this change.”

Research from Audley Group found that over half (51%) of downsizers aged over 55 said the most challenging part of moving was finding the right property to move into.

This is a bigger challenge than navigating moving day (33%) or dealing with their personal possessions (31%).

The older generation want to downsize for a few reasons.

Of people who have downsized, 38% wanted a more suitable property for their changing needs, 30% downsized because they didn’t need the space anymore, 19% to relocate to a better location and 17% to move closer to friends and family.

Nick Sanderson, chief executive of Audley Group, said: “People want to live in homes which match their changing needs, but many either struggle to find the right property, or struggle to make the numbers add up.

“This is a problem, and one that has been made more evident by the devastating impact of coronavirus over the last three months. Promised radical housing and planning reforms must rid the government of its laser focus on first-time buyers.

“Instead it should tackle the chronic shortage of properties which help people stay independent, out of hospital, out of care homes, with access to support and care as they get older.”

This post has originally been featured in Property Wire.