A group of Conservative MPs are lobbying the Chancellor to consider scrapping stamp duty for people who want to downsize in the Spring Budget next week. The One Nation Caucus, which represents 107 Conservative MPs, told Jeremy Hunt that he should look to free up housing stock by abolishing the levy for buyers seeking to downsize. To pay for this they recommended a tax on the many foreign property investors buying luxury homes here.

Nick Sanderson, CEO of Audley Group, builders of retirement communities, has welcomed talk of a stamp duty cut ahead of the Budget statement on 6 March, saying more needs to be done to help downsizers. He commented: “A stamp duty cut for downsizers should stimulate movement at the top of the market, encouraging people to move out of large family homes, but it’s important to remember that a financial incentive is just one part of the puzzle.

Mr Sanderson added, “There is a chronic lack of age-specific housing in the UK. If we aren’t giving people the properties to move into, in the right locations, the stimulus can’t achieve its full potential. The government must prioritise the delivery of age specific properties - and do so quickly. At least 50,000 new units are needed annually to keep up with the ever-rising demands of the ageing population.”

He concluded., “This means decisive action from policymakers which greenlights the development of more specialist retirement properties and mandates their inclusion in any new development. While stamp duty continues to be debated, there is a supply challenge that needs to be met.”

In my role as a property appraiser in the Taunton area, I’m meeting with an ever rising number of would-be downsizers keen to sell a property they’re now rattling around in but loathe to proceed as there’s such a shortage of age appropriate homes to choose from. Let us hope Mr Hunt comes up with some solutions next week!

Chris Willey is an Independent Property Appraiser and welcomes sale related enquiries on Taunton 01823 412661