Leading retirement communities developer and operator Inspired Villages welcomes yesterday’s announcement of a stamp duty holiday for all home buyers on properties of up to £500,000 in value. The move, which comes into immediate effect, will be a big help for retirees looking to ‘rightsize’ from large family homes to specialist housing that meets their changing needs.
“Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s announcement on stamp duty will be transformative for the housing market,” says James Cobb, Director at Inspired Villages. “By moving the threshold from which everyone pays stamp duty from £125,000 to £500,000, he has helped move a major obstacle for older people who are looking to move from large, empty family homes to somewhere better suited to the lifestyle they aspire to in retirement.”
This will in turn stimulate the housing market at all stages as the chancellor hopes. “When people move into an Inspired village, they typically free up large homes for growing families, which in turn opens up the housing market further for people looking to get onto the property ladder,” explains Cobb.
Research by Inspired Villages partner Legal & General shows that among those last-time buyers open to downsizing, 32% said they would be more likely to do so if they benefitted from a reduction in stamp duty.
Phil Bayliss, CEO of Later Living at Legal & General, as well as Chairman at Inspired Villages, adds: “This is a terrific step in the right direction for the UK; moving up and down the housing ladder will make the best use of existing housing stock and encourage more quality housing to be built. We should all be encouraged to live in housing that suits our needs. As a society we will get better health outcomes and more productivity.”
With lockdown being such a worrying time for all and particularly older people who live alone or far away from family, Cobb anticipates an uptick in enquiries for homes within retirement villages, now there is a stamp duty holiday too. “During lockdown our village teams went above and beyond to keep our residents safe, and ensure that self-isolation isn’t isolating. Buddy calls, grocery deliveries, socially distanced activities including VE Day celebrations, a ‘virtual village centre’ on Facebook, the ability to book the pool or gym safely for single-household use as we ease out of lockdown, and much more, have all been very well received by our residents.” says Cobb. “We are hugely proud of the response from our residents and are seeing an increase in enquiries.”
Inspired Villages, which operates six villages across the UK, has been able to move in new residents thanks to robust protocols which ensure appropriate social distancing and hygiene measures are in place.
To hear what the residents have to say about living in an Inspired village during lockdown visit: https://www.inspiredvillages.co.uk/testimonials
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