Government to reduce Stamp Duty Tax for last time home buyers

We are all living longer and our parents can expect to live 10-15 years longer than before. But they can be in the wrong property - a home that is no longer suitable for them - following bereavement or the family has moved way.  

Some want to stay in a home full of memories but others are asset-rich, income-poor. They struggle with gas, electricity, water or Council Tax bills. They may not have the boiler serviced regularly, in line with manufacturer’s warranty. The house is under-insulated, or the owner does not keep up with running repairs. If they are elderly or frail, the bathroom is likely to need re-configuring to meet changing needs. The stereotype of avocado green bathroom suites fitted in the 1980s still exists.  

The BMF wants action to help them become Last Time Buyers so they can ‘right-size’ (not downsize) with dignity, in a planned way, to release much-needed homes at the top end of the property ladder. This may not necessarily mean going into retirement or assisted living accommodation. It could be a simple as moving to a bungalow, a housing type that regularly tops polls of desired property. 

In recent years, Esther Rantzen and Edwina Currie have championed this cause with McCarthy & Stone and Churchill Retirement Living. The lack of suitable properties is a distinct problem - no requirement on local authorities to identify suitable sites for retirement housing in local plans is another.

Our ask of government is to make it fiscally easier for Last Time Buyers to ‘right-size’ to more suitable accommodation by easing the rates and rules on Stamp Duty to release homes back into the market