Reducing stamp duty is the key to unlocking the housing crisis, according to new research from retirement living provider Audley Group.
With the general election around the corner, solving the housing crisis remains a key focus for many. Some 33% of UK respondents believe a reduction in stamp duty would be the most effective policy in addressing housing shortages.
This was followed by more initiatives to assist first-time buyers (30%), greater support for older people who want to downsize (30%) and more suitable housing options for older people (30%).
Perhaps unsurprisingly, there is a generational divide. The younger demographic (aged 18-34) are vastly more supportive of policies which would see more help for first-time buyers, with 43% believing this would be the most effective solution to fix housing shortages.
Those over 55 disagree, claiming that greater support for homeowners who want to downsize their property (38%) would be the best way to solve the housing crisis.
Nick Sanderson, chief executive officer at Audley Group, comments: “Support for first-time buyers is the drum that is most often banged by political parties of all persuasions. And it’s important to voters too.”
“But voters clearly understand that other initiatives are needed to really effect change. Reforms to stamp duty and incentives to support downsizing are not ground-breaking policies but they have the potential to revolutionise the UK housing market.”
He adds: “Successive governments have focused purely on the first-time buyer market. It hasn’t worked; the country still finds itself in the grip of a housing crisis.”
Sanderson says that while more homes are being built, there must be high-quality properties which can adapt to people’s evolving needs.
“The party that acknowledges this could be the one that solves the housing crisis, or at the very least starts to take steps in the right direction,” he says.
Views on what will solve the housing crisis differ across the UK. Many of the regions in the north prioritise greater support for first-time buyers, while reduction in stamp duty and greater support for older people who want to downsize take precedence in the south.