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RICS: “Cut stamp duty for over 65s”

The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (Rics) has said encouraging over 65s to move to smaller homes by exempting them from stamp duty could help address the housing crisis.

Recommendations on stamp duty and other ideas came as part of a report issued by a Rics housing commission, which was set up earlier this year to come up with recommendations for policymakers.

Short-term and partial government policies for housing are partly responsible for a failure in the market, according to the report. “If there is a real sector of the economy that really needs quantitative easing, it is housing supply,” it said.

Paula Higgins, Chief Executive of the Homeowners Alliance said: “The problems we see today are a result of decades of not building enough houses. So it’s good to see RICS looking over the longer-term for ways to fix the housing crisis.”

As well as the comments on stamp duty, suggestions in the report included:

  • Doubling the target for releasing public land for residential development in England by 2015.
  • Forcing developers to start building within three years of planning consent.
  • Scrapping the right-to-buy scheme and creating a “portable home ownership discount”, which tenants would build up and use when moving home.
  • Increasing council tax for properties worth more than £320,000.
  • Allowing people with “Sipps” – self-invested personal pensions to invest in residential new-builds.

Read more on stamp duty:

5 things you need to know about stamp duty

Our stamp duty report: Stamping on Aspiration

Stamp duty payments could hit £9,000 by 2015

Diagram: the astonishing rise of stamp duty

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