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A group of politicians has urged the government to offer a package of financial support and advice to make it easier for older people to move home if they wish to downsize - and thus free the housing market for younger purchasers.

The Help to Move' scheme would include a stamp duty exemption for older people buying lower value homes, an equity loan offer - similar to the Help to Buy' approach already aimed at first time buyers - and comprehensive advice linked to new pensions freedoms.

The recommendations are the result of an inquiry by the All Party Parliamentary Group on Housing and Care for Older People, chaired by cross-bench peer Lord Best and including former local government minister, Nick Raynsford MP. The cross-party think-tank Demos acted as secretariat to the inquiry.

The report goes on to argue that exempting older people purchasing homes worth up to £250,000 from stamp duty would reduce their transaction costs, while leading to a net gain for the Treasury because of the consequent moves in the property market.

It also points out that the guidance guarantee', to be brought in with new pensions freedoms next year, as well as a new duty on local authorities to provide care advice, should be wrapped into a comprehensive package together with housing advice - helping older people make decisions about where and how they live after retirement.

The report cites analysis by Demos revealing over that 58 per cent of over-60s - equal to around eight million people currently living in seven million homes - are interested in moving. A third of over-60s specifically wanted to downsize, while a quarter said they were interested in buying a retirement property.

If Help to Move' encouraged all those wanting to downsize to move home researchers calculate that 4.3 million family homes would be freed up, easing the pressure on the housing market.


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