Older homeowners living in large properties may be encouraged to downsize and free up housing for families.
Newspaper reports suggest that communities secretary, Sajid Javid, will unveil plans to help retirees move into smaller properties later this month. It is thought the deal would include help with the costs of moving, such as a stamp duty exemption.
Commenting on the reports, Paul Green, director of communications at Saga says: “If the Prime Minister can bring in measures to enable people to 'rightsize' in retirement this would be a true inter-generational solution to the housing crisis and would deliver on Mrs May's promise of helping young and old alike.
“People should be free to choose how and where they live. However, there are many people who want to downsize but are put off because of the cost. Saga has been lobbying successive governments for a stamp duty exemption for downsizing and buying age-appropriate homes.”
According to Saga, there are some 3.4 million people aged 65 or over who could potentially be ‘rightsizers’: 2.3 million have two or more spare bedrooms while 1.1million have one bedroom to spare.
Research from the company also shows that 70% of over-50s want to move into a smaller home or age-related developments when they retire. Currently in the UK, 1% of retirees live in retirement developments compared to 17% in the US and 13% in Australia.
Mr Green adds that encouraging older people to move into smaller properties would be a triple win for inter-generational fairness: “Independent economists estimated this would prompt an extra 111,000 family homes to come onto the market; boost the building of homes suited to older generations; and, it could also boost the government coffers due to an estimated £500 million in stamp duty from consequential house moves.”