"Now is the time for re-evaluation: The way we live, the way we work, the way we treat the elderly and the importance of community. Now is the time to put into action what we have learned.
The stamp duty holiday has boosted the housing market to help pay the enormous Covid 19 bill. Extending the holiday is a political reaction to prevent the damage of a knife-edge end to the holiday.
Another sticking plaster hid neatly within the stages of lockdown release. Surely we should be thinking more strategically. The boost to jobs and the need to provide housing for people outweighs the benefits of this tax altogether. The need to rebalance the housing market means the logical thing to do is to bring back the tax gradually for some parts of the market but not all.
The pandemic has clearly shown us the importance of community and the need for suitable housing for the elderly. The later living sector has been proven in this pandemic by the way it has safeguarded residents and kept them mentally, physically and socially healthy. We know that for every later living property built and occupied it re-purposes an under-used family home into the housing market which boosts the whole chain. In fact, there is a leverage effect, with the average occupancy of a later living property being 10 years, each one built releases a family home into the property market many times over.
There are millions of under-utilised properties in the UK, and millions of first-time buyers waiting in line to get on the bottom of the ladder for an elderly occupant to move up a step into more appropriate accommodation. We need more suitable and aspirational retirement villages and an incentive for people to move there. We are a stubborn bunch in the UK and none more than our elders – who will doggedly stay in their unsuitable, too large, crumbling property despite everything. However, when they see retirement villages first-hand one in five of them buy there.
The benefits of these communities to the individual, the NHS, and the economy has now been overwhelmingly proven. Surely when we bring back stamp duty we should incentivise the elderly to move into retirement communities by paying no stamp duty thus letting us all reap the benefits and letting the existing stock within the property market work better for everyone."
James Cobb - Sales and Marketing Director, Inspired Villages
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