Downsizing incentives needed for seniors

Tax incentives such as stamp duty exemption and quarantining the proceeds of the sale of the family home in the pension assets test would help older Australians needing to downsize their homes.


The National Seniors research coincides with reports that the government is considering giving downsizing retirees a one-off exemption from stamp duty and quarantining family home profits from the Age Pension assets test provided they are channelled into an approved retirement product.


The National Seniors report confirms that financial factors are a significant deterrent for those considering moving into a smaller home.

The report- "Seniors downsizing on their own terms: Overcoming planning, legal and policy impediments to the creation of alternative retirement communities" - finds that while some older Australians need to downsize, they are discouraged by the lack of appropriate housing stock and the high costs involved.


“Stamp duty, capital gains tax and pension impacts are key deterrents to downsizing,” National Seniors chief executive Michael O’Neill said.


“The report finds that although many retirees are content with staying in their existing homes, a significant number want to move to something smaller but are worried about the financial implications and also the lack of affordable and appropriate alternatives in the current housing stock.


“It is also important to remember that older people are not a homogenous group and there are many who want to stay where they’ve always lived and shouldn’t be pressured to move.


The report found that older people prefer to live in low maintenance homes close to transport and amenities in medium to high density surroundings, and indicate a desire to remain part of the community.


20 November 2015.