McCarthy & Stone, a developer and manager of retirement communities, has welcomed a report by Policy Exchange called Building for Baby Boomers, and its recommendations on improving the housing market for an ageing population. Its recommendations include that Government should remove the 2% stamp duty band – which is levied on those buying homes between £125,000 and £250,000 – for older homeowners looking to move home, and Government and local authorities should look to attract more institutional investment into the retirement housing sector and this should be directed towards private rental housing.
The report also suggested that the planning system should be used as a vehicle to encourage new models for retirement housing. For example by exempting retirement housing developers from financial obligations faced by mainstream developers, it would help them compete more effectively in the land market and could result in higher delivery of retirement housing.
Gary Day, group land & planning director at McCarthy & Stone, said: “We support the recommendations made by Policy Exchange in this report. Retirement communities have a hugely positive impact on the well-being of older people, allowing them to live happier and healthier lives. Yet moving costs – particularly stamp duty – are holding them back. Around 2.6m people would be encouraged to move with a downsizing exemption, freeing up housing supply for families and first-time buyers, and reducing the state’s social care burden.”