Seniors who are downsizing could get a tax break to free up homes in a bid to boost properties for younger buyers

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Older retirees could get tax relief to free up homes in a bid to increase the number of properties available to younger buyers

  • Ministers consider stamp duty cuts for pensioners who ‘walk around’ in homes
  • They want to make it easier for young people to access the housing ladder
  • Four in ten properties are ‘under-occupied’ meaning families could use them
  • Whitehall to persuade older people to leave homes for smaller homes
  • Average house price in Britain is £367,501, a record high as demand soars

Retirees who are downsizing could benefit from stamp duty reductions to free up properties for young people under proposals considered by ministers.

Rental owners could also benefit from incentives, such as a reduction in capital gains tax, to sell their second homes to first-time buyers.

The ideas, at the very beginning, aim to facilitate young people’s access to the housing ladder.

There are growing concerns that they won’t be able to buy a home because too few are coming to market, meaning they are too expensive.

Nearly four in ten properties are officially “underoccupied,” meaning they have too many bedrooms for those who live there and could be used more effectively by families with children. Although the plans have not yet been approved, the Prime Minister seems keen to do something drastic on housing before the next election.

Whitehall officials have suggested doing more to help young people by persuading older people to leave their family homes for smaller homes better suited to their needs.

Housing Minister Chris Pincher told the House of Lords that nearly four in ten properties are “underoccupied” and could be better used by young families with children.

This could be facilitated by reducing the amount of stamp duty pensioners have to pay if they move to smaller accommodation.

Reducing the number of properties owned by rental owners would also help and this could be encouraged by charging less capital gains tax if they sell a second home to a first-time buyer. They currently pay 18% on any gain as a basic rate taxpayer or 28% if they are a higher rate taxpayer.

The new ideas follow Housing Secretary Michael Gove’s decision to scrap most of the government’s changes to the planning system in England.

Whitehall officials have suggested doing more to help young people by persuading older people to leave their family homes for smaller homes better suited to their needs.

Whitehall officials have suggested doing more to help young people by persuading older people to leave their family homes for smaller homes better suited to their needs.

These would have forced the councils to guarantee the construction of a certain number of houses, but sparked a violent reaction in the conservative counties.

Last November a minister said he wanted to encourage older people to ‘walk around’ in houses too big for them to shrink.

Chris Pincher, housing minister until February, told the House of Lords that nearly four in ten properties are “underoccupied” and could be better used by young families with children.

He said the government wanted to encourage more retirement-friendly developments, freeing up space in semi-trailers and opening up more properties in the chain for first-time buyers.

However, Mr Pincher has been warned by his peers that ‘punitive’ stamp duty levels are deterring older people from selling their large homes. He told them, “I want to make sure that we look at all the obstacles that exist.”

Rental owners could also benefit from incentives, such as a reduction in capital gains tax, to sell their second homes to first-time buyers.

Rental owners could also benefit from incentives, such as a reduction in capital gains tax, to sell their second homes to first-time buyers.

No stamp duty is paid on the first £125,000 of a home’s value, 2% on the proportion up to £250,000, 5% on the amount up to £925,000, with higher rates subsequently raised.

The average house price in Britain is £367,501, a record for the fourth consecutive month as demand soars after the pandemic, the Rightmove website has said.

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