Saga Demands Stamp Duty Exemption For Over 50s Downsizing Property

Saga is again calling for the Government to allow one stamp duty free move for those choosing to right-size in retirement as new research reveals that almost three quarters (73%) of over 50s would support one stamp duty free move for those downsizing – up from 70% in 2017.

The findings from Saga’s research come as a quarter (25%) of potential downsizers say that the costs associated with moving to a new house, including stamp duty charges, are preventing them from downsizing despite their current home no longer being right for them. This is an increase from 21% of those who said that costs were a barrier for them in 2017.

With a current shortage of housing across the UK, downsizing could be part of the solution to increase liquidity in the housing market and help ‘free-up’ housing for families and those looking to climb the property ladder.

The majority (70% ) of potential downsizers are keen to move, as their current home is too large, and a quarter (25%) say they want to downsize as to reduce the running costs of their home. In addition to freeing up housing, downsizing could release equity to help fund retirement, contribute to personal spending or allow people to gift or lend money to their family as a pre-inheritance. Indeed, nearly half (45%) of those over 50 would consider downsizing as an option to help fund their retirement – and a stamp duty break for downsizers would encourage more to be able to afford to make this transition.

The removal of stamp duty for first time buyers has already had a reportedly positive impact, with reports suggesting it has already helped approximately 240,000 people get onto the property ladder for the first time. A similar break for those who are downsizing could have a multitude of benefits, including the potential to release further homes onto the market.

Jeff Bromage Managing Director, Saga Money commented: “For many years we have been calling for stamp-duty free breaks to increase liquidity in the market. 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.

“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.”

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