“We were very disappointed not to see today’s Housing White Paper include a proposal to remove Stamp Duty for downsizers, which was widely talked about beforehand, and would create a real incentive to stimulate this end of the market. For all the talk and all the promises, the Government needs to take more action to help the 8 million over 60s who are interested in downsizing, or ‘rightsizing’.
“With the Budget on 8th March there is still a great opportunity to implement this change. Stamp Duty is a matter for the Chancellor Philip Hammond and he can deliver this change next month.
“For many people, moving into the right type of property could improve their lifestyle and even help reduce loneliness. We’ve seen clear evidence that living in a friendly, sociable retirement community can significantly boost health and wellbeing and enable people to enjoy their independence for longer.
“However, to make sure people have a genuine choice of homes to move into, the Government needs to make sure the right type of quality specialist retirement housing can be built in the right locations. The White Paper’s proposals to enable quicker development of brownfield sites in town centres are a welcome step forward, as are increased resources for planning departments. We’ll have to wait and see how effective these reforms are in practice, but at least they are a step towards tackling the regulatory burden that severely slows down developers like us from providing much-needed new homes in town centre locations.
“It is clear that the Government is highlighting to Councils that the delivery of older people’s housing is a priority and needs to be at the top of their agenda.”
Spencer McCarthy, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer at Churchill Retirement Living