MPs are calling for ‘Help to Move' support for older people

  • MPs are asking the government to offer financial support and advice to make it easier for older people to downsize.

    Within the ‘Help to Move' shceme would be a stamp duty exemption for older people buying homes worth up to £250,000, an equity loan offer and comprehensive advice linked to new pensions freedoms, reports Inside Housing. Irma Wants Some Coffee

    The recommendations come out of an inquiry by the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Housing and Care for Older People.

    Anaylsis by the think-tank Demos, has found that 58% of people over the age of 60 are interested in moving and a third of over 60s want to downsize.

    Exempting older people from paying stamp duty on lower value homes would reduce transaction costs, it adds, and lead to a net gain for the treasury because of the resulting moves in the property market.

    Lord Best, chair of the APPG on Housing and Care for Older People, said: "More and more people in their ‘extended middle age' are thinking about downsizing. This can mean much reduced fuel bills and maintenance costs, perhaps the release of some capital, and can prevent a forced move in later life. But down-sizing is not easy. Our report recommends a Help to Move package of Stamp Duty relief, financial advice and mortgage support - like the Help to Buy assistance for younger purchasers - to generate the demand that will get more high-quality homes built for this age group."

    Claudia Wood, chief executive of Demos and author of the report, said: "A lack of suitable properties and the practical and emotional upheaval of moving can't be underestimated - but affordability is also a major barrier for many. The government needs to commit to really helping this group of people, with concrete policies - not just to ensure older people enjoy a better quality of life but also to stimulate the entire housing market by helping more older people move from family-sized homes."

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