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Shield downsizing retirees from Stamp Duty bill, says insurer

Retirees selling up to move to a smaller home to release equity should be shielded from paying Stamp Duty on their new purchase says a leading insurer.

LV is calling on the government to apply a discount to the tax or waive it completely.

A survey carried out by LV found 36% of people approaching retirement are relying on the equity built up their homes to use as a pension. This compares to 22% of those already retired who have done the same.

The tax bill facing retirees reliant on housing equity in retirement based on the Office of National Statistics’ average house price of £292,000 is £4,600.

LV’s research found 77% of pensioners lived alone or as a couple, yet 64% lived in properties with at least three bedrooms.

Some 42% of those nearing retirement say they’d be more likely to downsize if a tax cut were introduced.

John Perks, managing director of LV Retirement Solutions, said: “We’re calling for government to scrap the unfairly high Stamp Duty costs for downsizing pensioners and provide a much-needed injection of larger homes into the market for the millions of families struggling to move up the ladder. By increasing the number of property sales, this could also increase government’s Stamp Duty revenues in the long run, making it a win-win for everyone.”

The research is part of a wider study which outlines the typical financial situations for retirees, before and at retirement age. The full report will be released in the summer.

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