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Downsizers should get stamp duty cuts just like first timers - call

Family houses are under-occupied and only incentives to downsize can help improve the housing market - with a stamp duty cut being one of the most obvious.

That’s the thrust of a new report from the Centre for the Study of Financial Innovation, which says that if nothing is done there will be some 20m ‘surplus’ bedrooms by 2040, in homes occupied by the over-65s.

The growth in older households – over half of them one-person – is set to account for 36 per cent of the projected 3.7m increase in the number of UK households by 2040, it says. 


The report says the current stamp duty regime “tends to jam up the housing market and can add significant costs to downsizing.”

It therefore calls on the government to ensure that so-called ‘last-time’ buyers are put on an equal footing with first time buyers with property purchases of up to £300,000 nil-banded for stamp duty.

The report also blames the housebuilding industry in part, saying there is a shortage of appropriate housing at affordable prices for downsizers; out also wants more independent financial guidance for older owners wishing to downsize.

Jane Fuller, co-director of the CSFI, says: “Covid 19 has shone a light on problems with care home accommodation. Equally, however, the dispersion of elderly singles or couples throughout mainstream housing imposes extra strain on social service provision. What this report proposes – encouragement for such people to move into age-appropriate accommodation – is a happy medium: one in which independent living can be encouraged, but in which provision of social care can be optimised.”

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    So ‘downsizers’ who have benefitted from enormous house price inflation over the decades since purchasing their homes should now receive tax breaks too to sell them? Really?

    • 03 June 2020 09:42 AM

    It will be the only way of making them downsize.

    That is the objective.
    It matters not if the downsizers benefit a bit from incentives.
    The main thing is to have those properties made available for families etc.
    That is worth the incentives to achieve this as it won't be achieved otherwise.

    Got to consider the bigger picture.

    There is an exodus starting from cities to the countryside.
    Some of these might be downsizes.

    By all accounts enquiries with EA for country properties is overwhelming.
    People want to leave the cities.
    This will be good news for the general economy as wealth will be spread mire evenly around the UK.
    Must admit though I was surprised that a London Isle of Dogs OO has moved to Shrewsbury

    Shoeburyness maybe as only 40 odd miles from London on the coast.
    But I guess people are just seeing what is the most house they can achieve with sale proceeds from London properties.
    WFH makes this all far more practical to achieve.

    Mind you I was speaking to a work in the financial industry and for various reasons they won't be permitted to WFH.
    So there will still be many having to do the daily grinding commute.


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