The availability of property for first-time buyers could be increased if the Conservatives go ahead with plans to raise the inheritance tax threshold in today’s Budget.
Reports have suggested that the threshold, which currently stands at £650,000 per couple, could be lifted to £1 million in order to remove many families from the inheritance tax net.
But according to research from investment firm Old Mutual Wealth, such a move could lead to many older people choosing to remain in their current home rather than downsizing to avoid tax.
This could mean that buyers down the ladder would face less competition.
Rachael Griffin, financial planning expert at Old Mutual Wealth, said: “A house is very often the most valuable asset a family holds and the ability to pass on some value to the next generation is high on the priority list for many in retirement.
“With IHT thresholds as they are, many more families could find themselves hit with large tax bills on receipt of an inherited property. If the Conservative plans to introduce an additional allowance for property are introduced, more of them will be able to pass down their family homes in full, without the need to sell or downsize.”
Griffin added that, if more retirees felt able to remain in the family home, it would also reduce the numbers of them competing with first-time buyers for smaller homes.
Old Mutual Wealth’s survey found that 13% of older people who had moved or considered moving did so for tax reasons.