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Surveyors say offering older houseowners incentives may tackle homes shortage

Incentivising older homeowners to move into smaller properties or retirement homes could help free up almost three million family homes, a report today claimed.

The Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors has published a policy review today setting out a number of recommendations on how the government could do more to tackle the UK’s housing crisis.

The report suggests that providing greater support or incentives for homeowners to sell or rent out under-occupied family homes could help release £820bn property assets – or 2.6m homes.

These could include a stamp duty discount or a fund to help with moving costs, which is currently being piloted by Bristol Council.

Jeremy Blackburn, RICS’ head of policy said: “Britain’s older home-owners are understandably reluctant to move out of much-loved, but often under-occupied family homes.

“Clearly, it’s an emotive issue and one that needs to be treated with sensitivity, but we would like to see central and local government provide older people with the information, practical and financial support they need to downsize if that is their choice,” he said.