The government should cut stamp duty for those aged 55 to encourage them to downsize and free up properties, a report by Santander has proposed.
Santander’s First-Time Buyer Study: The Future of the Homeownership Dream, argued change is needed because many people live in properties unsuitable to their needs, such as older couples with three or more bedrooms.
The report read: “In order to improve circulation of properties and help free up homes for first-time buyers, action at the other end of the market may be required.
“For example, a cut in stamp duty for those aged over 55 who are downsizing would encourage more sales and help free up suitable properties along the chain.”
About a third (33%) of first-time buyers would like to see the stamp duty cuts, introduced by the government in November 2017 for first-time buyers, extended to the first £500,000 of a property’s value.
The report also called for a new lending model backed by the government to help those without family support to raise a deposit.
Nearly three quarters (73%) of people surveyed believe that the government should do more to help first-time buyers.
The report read: “The government and industry must now be prepared to think differently and work together to have a meaningful impact in helping many more first-time buyers on to the property ladder.
“Without urgent action, there is a real risk that the next generation of first-time buyers will be unable to realise their homeownership dream.”
Some 63% of potential first-time buyers said that relaxing borrowing rules would help redress the inequality in the homeownership market.
Over a third (37%) want to see Help to Buy extended beyond 2023, while 35% want a cap on rent prices.
Some 28% of first-time buyers want the government to encourage landlords to sell their properties to long-term rental tenants by giving them a tax rebate.
Nearly a quarter (23%) want the government to introduce stronger quotas on developers to build more affordable homes.