Encouraging downsizing would help ease shortage: Rics

Encouraging downsizing would help ease shortage: Rics

Addressing the older owner-occupier market could help release under-occupied properties and ease the acute housing problem, a Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors report has suggested.

The surveyors’ industry organisation has said it supported incentives such as stamp duty discounts for older people that would encourage them to downsize and release more homes into the market.

In its 20-page Residential Policy Review, Rics suggested that an independent review into the role of inheritance tax in property would allow them to understand what would encourage older people to downsize. This would help get larger, second-hand property back into the market.

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A fund to help with moving costs would help, it said.

In the report, Rics stated: “We also endorse recommendations from the All-Party Parliamentary Groups on Housing and Care for Older People’s inquiry into ‘The affordability of retirement housing’.

“This includes the support for alternative ownership models, the stamp duty land tax discount for older people in lower-value homes under ‘Help to Move’, and a requirement for local authorities to provide housing and financial advice to people as they transition into old age.”

Analysis published by consultants Fathom Consulting called the Rics data “stronger than expected”, and said: “Rising house price inflation makes for happy consumers. And happy consumers spend more. Therefore we have revised our forecast for UK house price inflation upwards. We stand by that call. If anything, the risks appar to be slightly to the upside.”

Adviser View

Kevin Dunn, senior partner and mortgage adviser at Leicestershire-based Furnley House, said: “It is a good idea. It would help both the older market and other end by increasing supply. I would like to see an FTB equity scheme for pensioners, which would offer a 20 per cent incentive.

“This market would more than likely have the other 80 per cent. It is very important, though, that pensioners are supported so they can make an informed decision.”