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Think tank: ‘Govt should focus on helping older people downsize’

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The Government should concentrate more on downsizing rather than focusing policy on younger buyers, according to an International Longevity Centre paper.

The paper found that 32.6 per cent of homeowners over 55 are downsizing or interested in downsizing.

ILC says in the report: “This is therefore an area worthy of greater policy focus, while the current policy debate is focused almost completely on first time buyers and starter homes.”

The ILC is calling for several Government policy changes around downsizing, concentrating on adequacy, affordability and awareness.

These could include tweaking the Help to Buy scheme to include older buyers, according to the ILC.

Downsizing could also be made more affordable by exempting older households from stamp duty, the ILC says.

It says: “This would encourage more people to move, and the overall effect on the housing market would mean the Treasury would not be at a loss.”

The report says that lower maintenance was the main reason for downsizing, with 56 per cent of those surveyed agreeing.

Almost a third (29.3 per cent) of respondents expected to release more than £100,000 in equity.

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