WA downsizing scheme welcomed – chance for other states to follow

A new downsizing incentive for senior Western Australians will have broad ranging benefits and should be examined by other states, says the peak body for retirement and seniors living.

The WA Coalition’s stamp duty concession policy, announced as part of the party’s election platform, would help seniors save up to $15,000 for downsizing to new or established homes.

Ben Myers, Executive Director – Retirement Living at the Property Council of Australia, said the scheme was welcome considering the many benefits of downsizing.

“Our research indicates that downsizing to a smaller home can extend people’s capacity to live independently, delaying or reducing their need for formal care or support,” Mr Myers said.

“Unfortunately there are many barriers to downsizing that currently exist, including lack of available supply, the structure of age pension asset testing and the high cost of stamp duty.”

“This new policy would remove one of those barriers and we’re encouraged that the Western Australian Government has recognised this.

“We hope both major parties also recognise the benefits of downsizing to retirement villages and over 55 communities, which have a wide variety of social benefits for seniors, including modern facilities and health services on site.

“Many retirement villages already have the benefit of being stamp duty free, further lowering the cost of entry.

“Ultimately this policy is a positive step forward and one we hope all state governments are considering, to ensure senior Australians have housing choice and can downsize at low cost, which has the added benefit of freeing up housing stock for first home buyers.”

Media contact:  Paul Ritchie  |  E  pritchie@propertycouncil.com.au