Call to scrap stamp duty for pen­sion­ers who down­size

The Sunday Telegraph - - News - By Christo­pher Hope CHIEF PO­LIT­I­CAL COR­RE­SPON­DENT

PEN­SION­ERS in large homes should be let off stamp duty fees to en­cour­age them to move to smaller prop­er­ties, a lead­ing think tank rec­om­mends.

The study, to be pub­lished by the Pol­icy Ex­change to­mor­row, also sug­gests pur­pose-built homes for “age­ing baby boomers” would en­cour­age more peo­ple to move and “free up more fam­ily homes for younger gen­er­a­tions”.

Baby boomers were those born in the years fol­low­ing the Sec­ond World War, when there was a tem­po­rary marked in­crease in the birth rate.

The Build­ing for the Baby Boomers re­port says the changes “would re­lease fam­ily homes on to lo­cal hous­ing mar­kets, and give baby boomers the chance to ac­cess hous­ing wealth they have stored up in spare bed­rooms”.

More than one mil­lion homes in Eng­land with two or more spare bed­rooms are lived in by one per­son aged 65 or over liv­ing alone – one fifth of all homes that are un­der-oc­cu­pied.

Jack Airey, the au­thor of the re­port, said: “Build­ing more homes suited to older peo­ple will al­low more re­tirees to live in a house that sup­ports them to lead healthy and happy lives.

“It will also give more peo­ple the op­por­tu­nity to down­size and draw down their hous­ing eq­uity, re­leas­ing money for re­tire­ment and sav­ing money by mov­ing to a home which is eas­ier and cheaper to main­tain.”

Lord Best, chair­man of the All-Party Par­lia­men­tary Group on Hous­ing and Care for Older Peo­ple, said the re­port “will help the UK to­ward the tip­ping point when all of us baby boomers see down­siz­ing as a pos­i­tive, nat­u­ral pro­gres­sion in life”.

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