Philip Hammond gave his Autumn Budget to parliament yesterday and with a number of key changes for housing our residential expert, Diana Warr has summarised its impact.
“The headline announcement in yesterday’s budget was undoubtedly the fact that first-time buyers will no longer need to pay stamp duty on property purchases up to £300,000. For first time buyers purchasing in London there will be no stamp duty applied to the first £300,000 of their purchase.
“The abolishment of stamp duty is certainly a boost for first-time buyers across the country but with undoubtedly have a greater consequence for those purchasing higher value properties in London and the South.
“On top of the benefit to first-time buyers it is also good news for existing homeowners as the Office for Budget Responsibility has estimated that house prices will rise by 0.3% as a result of the change.
“It was also announced that local authorities would be able to charge a 100% council tax premium on empty properties. It is hoped that by charging penalties in the form of council tax payments it will dissuade landlords and property investors from leaving vacant houses and flats while many struggle to find somewhere to live.
“The government also pledged to support the “biggest annual increase in housing supply since 1970”. Hammond announced that to boost housebuilding the government would provide a minimum of £44bn of capital funding, loans and guarantees to help create an average of 300,000 new homes a year by the mid-2020s.
“With a number of promises of extra funding and re-allocation of resources the budget looks to be a promising one for the housing sector but as is often the case, we eagerly await the outcome of the changes.”