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Calls for stamp duty break for downsizers to ‘free up homes’

Downsizers should be exempt from stamp duty in order to increase liquidity in the housing market and free up housing for families and those looking to climb the property ladder.

That’s according to Saga, which is calling on the Government to allow one stamp duty-free move for those who want to ‘right size’ in retirement.

Its plea comes after it carried out research which found a quarter of potential downsizers whose current houses weren’t right for them said the costs associated with moving to a new house, including the stamp duty charges, were preventing them from making the move.

And it would appear the number of retirees who feel the same has been increasing. Indeed, the proportion of over 50s feeling restricted by costs has gone up since the same research was conducted in 2017.

Jeff Bromage, managing director, Saga Money, said it had been calling for stamp-duty free breaks to increase liquidity in the market for years.

He said: “It was great that the Government acted to help first-time buyers, but this is only part of the solution. More needs to be done to help free up more family homes to the market in order to continue the supply of first homes.”

Reduce running costs

According to Saga’s study, 70% of potential downsizers were keen to move because their current home was too large and a quarter want to downsize to reduce the running costs of their home.

Nearly half of those over 50 would consider downsizing as an option to help fund their retirement. Saga said a stamp duty break for downsizers would encourage more to be able to make the transition.

Bromage added: “A large proportion of our members have told us that they would like to move to a smaller home so that they can release money from their homes – either for themselves or to give to their families – however the costs associated with doing so are preventing them.

“With nearly three quarters of the over 50s supporting this stamp duty break, and with this figure continuing to rise year on year, we are urging the Government to reconsider this exemption – both to support potential downsizers, their families and the wider housing market.”

Article by Kate Saines for


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