Response to the publication of the APPG’s Housing and Care for Older People report, published on 8 June 2016

09 June 2016

The UK’s largest retirement housebuilder McCarthy & Stone calls on the Government to give greater support to those in later life wishing to downsize their property.

The All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Housing and Care for Older People has launched a report today calling for a significant change in the focus of Government policy away from concentrating simply on support for first time buyers.

In order to address the concerns of older people and enhance the offer to potential right-sizers, the ‘Housing our Ageing Population: Positive Ideas’ (HAPPI 3) report makes a number of key recommendations, including a stamp duty exemption for older people looking to move, Help to Buy assistance extended to those in later life, and greater Government support to boost the supply of specialist retirement housebuilding.

Commenting on the publication of the report, Gary Day, Group Land and Planning Director for McCarthy & Stone, and a member of the panel that produced the report, said:

“We welcome the report by the APPG on Housing and Care for Older People, which highlights not only the urgent need to build purpose-built retirement developments but also the central role such housing plays in helping the UK deal with its crippling housing crisis.

“The current Government focus on first time buyers overlooks the chronic under-supply of suitable retirement housing essential to the needs of the UK’s rapidly ageing population. Those aged over 85 are expected to more than double in the next 20 years to 3.5 million and the over 65s are expected to increase by more than 50% to 17.2 million. With only 141,000 retirement properties built to date, the UK’s housing stock is woefully unprepared for this democratic shift.

“Across the UK, there is soaring demand for retirement housing. According to our own research, nearly 5 million homeowners aged 55+ are considering or expect to downsize in the future, but are stuck due to a lack of good, high-quality housing.

“This must be the next focus for the Government. The Government has shown, through its Help-to-Buy scheme and other initiatives aimed at first time buyers, that it can drive market supply. This focus must now include housing choices for those in later life. This would help release millions of under-occupied family-sized homes onto local markets, stimulating housing chains and helping younger people move up the ladder. It’s a win, win approach.”

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