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'House prices are increasingly out of reach for many'

Angela Evans

Today marked the first Autumn Budget in 20 years and some may say that it was the ‘most important’ of Philip Hammond’s tenure as the Chancellor. It followed in similar suit of the last Budget, with a substantial focus on the UK property market and the governments bid to tackle the need for affordable housing.

Stamp Duty
The Chancellor has revealed that with immediate effect, first time buyers are not required to pay Stamp Duty Land Tax for properties up to £300,000. In order to meet the needs of those living in London and other ‘high price’ places Stamp Duty will be axed on the first £300,000 of a purchase price up to £500,000 – this brings a reduction to £5,000. This announcement was followed by Hammond saying; ‘When we said we would revive the home owning dream of Britain, we meant it.’

Vacant properties
Hammond has announced that ‘It is not right to leave houses empty when so many are desperate for places to live.’ Local Authorities have now been granted power to be able to charge a 100% council tax premium on properties that are left empty.

There is also a current need for long-term renters requiring more ‘security’ from their rental agreement and in order to tackle this Hammond has announced that there will be a consultation on barriers for longer tenancies in the private rented sector.

Those in the rented sector have also been told by Hammond that more will be done to help low-income households where rent has been rising the fastest. Many sighed on hearing that in the long run to achieve this it would be the building of more houses, but for a faster solution the government will be increasing targeted affordability funding by £125m over the next two years.

The Housing Crisis
‘House prices are increasingly out of reach for many’ said Hammond. He also revealed figures of 25 to 34 year olds owning homes, this has dropped from 59% to just 38% over the last 13 years.
There is now more home building than ever taking place since the financial crash, in order to help solve the housing crisis.

As well as the above, the government has committed to at least £44bn over the next five years of capital funding, loans and guarantees to boost the supply of skills, resources and building land and create financial incentives to create more homes.

In addition to this the Chancellor is also looking at a way in which he can force developers to begin developing on land where planning permission has been consented. This will be done in the form of compulsory purchase orders, (CPOs) and perhaps a re-instatement of the Development Land Tax, meaning developers will carry greater risk into new projects.
‘The rabbit out of the hat’ for this Budget was certainly the Stamp Duty announcement for first time buyers, but it has left a lot of people wondering if this will only make house prices go up….