For this tax year the new nil rate band on main residences (Residential Nil Rate Band or "RNRB") kicks in, rising to £1m of potential IHT relief by 2021. 

This could be a disincentive to downsizing which many regard as much needed in order to increase liquidity in the residential property market and move elderly householders into homes more suited to their needs (relieving pressure on the Government's social care budget). 

As with many recent HMRC reforms, there is further complexity and detail that requires understanding. The good news is that the nil rate can be available to downsizers. Having said that, careful advice will need to be taken in order to ensure the preservation of the new higher IHT thresholds. The big worry for the property industry is that the prospect of having to wrestle with the new HMRC downsizing provisions could dissuade many from trading in their homes.

The more that the property industry can do to help homeowners understand and navigate through the new regime the better.