The Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) has reaffirmed its support for stamp duty changes to help downsizing as it’s revealed that 8% of ‘last-time buyers’ would potentially downsize if they didn’t have to pay stamp duty.

According to Key, which offers advice on equity release, changes to the property tax system may be what is needed to get the sales market moving.

Research from estate agents has revealed there is ‘widespread support’ across the sector for the removal of stamp duty for last-time buyers.

According to this research, 32% of homeowners aged over 65 say a cut to stamp duty would incentivise them to downsize. However, a higher proportion of homeowners aged over 65 – 37% – say stamp duty cuts would have no effect on their decisions.

It’s important to remember that there are many barriers to downsizing – the cost of stamp duty is not the only consideration.

People often become attached to their home and the neighbourhood they live in, especially if they’ve lived in the area for many years.

Key’s Chief Executive, Will Hale, said: “While making changes to stamp duty is likely to appeal to some over-65s, downsizing can be more complex than anticipated so a move like this could only be part of wider solution.”

However, whatever can be done to encourage movement from last-time buyers should impact positively on first-time buyers, boosting activity at all levels of the property ladder.

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About the author

Nicolas Holmes

Nick joined Robert Holmes to inject fresh ideas and help grow the New Homes department of Robert Holmes as well as helping to inject technology into the business and to grow its client base. Together with one of the Directors Nick is in charge of all Development opportunities that Robert Holmes deals with along with sales. Aged 40, he provides succession together with the two existing directors. Nick has always been focused on building client relationships and sales. He built up his own gallery in Chelsea, where he had a loyal following of customers and artists.

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