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TODAY'S OTHER NEWS

Call to scrap stamp duty for so-called ‘last time buyers’

An equity release specialist says the scrapping of stamp duty for so-called last time buyers would lead to more downsizing, freeing up larger properties and allowing more flexibility in the wider sales market.

Research for ER company Key shows that 15 per cent of owners aged 55 and over - roughly 1.2m people - say they would at least consider moving if they did not have to pay stamp duty. Another 30 per cent, equivalent to almost 2.5m, say their decision on moving would be “influenced” by the scrapping of the duty.

Key chief executive Will Hale says: “While downsizing is an emotive issue, increasingly people are looking at how they find a suitable property to support their later life living needs. Whether it is adapting their current property or downsizing to something smaller and more convenience for family and services, all of these choices have financial implications.

“Scrapping stamp duty for last-time buyers would mean that those people who want to move would have one less barrier to overcome as due to the lack of suitable properties finding something in the right location can be costly.

“Indeed, we find that increasingly customers are using equity release to raise additional capital to buy their dream retirement home.”

He says that for wider society, this measure would mean not only more families moving into larger but would also be cost neutral as the increased number of transactions should cover any deficit.

Stamp duty paid by buyers fell by 10 per cent in 2018/19, at least partly because of the relief offered for first time buyers.

It is thought likely that stamp duty reform - heavily supported by Prime Minister Boris Johnson during his leadership campaign over the summer - is likely to form part of the Budget scheduled for November 6.

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