Seniors crying out for better downsizing options

National Seniors’ research has consistently shown that while many consider downsizing, there are barriers which discourage this.

Barriers such as the cost of stamp duty, the cost of moving and the potential impact of sale proceeds on the age pension.

National Seniors, as part of its Better Housing Campaign, is encouraging all state governments to offer seniors a one-off (stamp) duty concession to assist in the downsizing process.

Victoria, the Australian Capital Territory and Northern Territory have schemes in place to encourage downsizing. 

The ACT scheme is the most generous, waiving stamp duty on the sale of houses that sell below $680,500, with the value of the concession declining on a sliding scale up to $895,000.

Thanks to our lobbying efforts, Tasmania now offers a concession! However, there is no commitment to this beyond the 2019-20 financial year. 

And because Queensland, Western Australia, South Australia and New South Wales do not currently offer such a scheme, we are continuing to lobby for this in our budget submissions.

Aside from the financial or emotional cost of moving, it’s often difficult to find housing that is suitable.

Downsizing implies moving to a smaller more manageable home, however what’s on offer is often either undesirable, in a location that is unsuitable or ridiculously expensive.

The current trend of building high rises or exclusive apartments in the inner city might be appealing to some, but it’s not for everyone. Nor is the option of moving into a ’retirement village’.

This is an issue noted in a submission National Seniors made to a recent housing consultation in the ACT. 

The submission called for changes to planning laws to enable the construction of appropriately scaled housing in local communities rather than inappropriate high-density apartments, as has been the case.

This is an issue that most major cities are facing and one that National Seniors believes needs greater thought as the tidal wave of boomers transforms our cities.

We will continue to explore and advocate on the range of issues that affect your housing choices.

Find out more about our Better Housing Campaign below.

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