Homes at the heart of the Budget

14 Nov 2017

All eyes will be on the Chancellor as he delivers the first “Autumn Budget” of its kind and, as always, predictions from businesses and individuals have started to surface as to how they may be affected. Housing is a common theme and is an ongoing concern for the Government in a number of areas ranging from affordability to availability – so how could the upcoming Budget help the housing sector?

The Government is being urged to consider putting homes and housing at the heart of the Budget and there are a number of measures that have been put forward, ranging from the abolishment of stamp duty to building more homes.

A shortage of affordable housing in the UK is high on Government agenda and the Conservatives are under pressure to deliver a system that addresses a number of problems. Housing is in short supply, they are not being built fast enough and there is a shortage of allocated land – that is before we even begin to consider affordability issues.

But, it is not just the shortage of affordable housing that impacts residents – it impacts businesses too. Employers could start to feel pressure to increase wages so that they can still attract employees within a commutable distance. It could also create challenges in recruiting and retaining staff.

Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) is also an area under the spotlight. This is levied on all property transactions in the UK above £125,000 and rises according to the property value. Critics say that this is causing affordability issues, particularly in areas of the country, such as London, where property prices are already extremely high.

Some have said that scrapping SDLT could also help improve mobility of labour across the UK and will help to prevent pent up demand in areas that eventually lead to significant property price rises.

The issue of housing is an ongoing issue and it remains to be seen what the Chancellor’s plans are for the sector. Latest news suggests that Hammond and May have agreed a deal to make housebuilding the centrepiece of the Budget, and we will be watching closely on the day to see how events unfold.

If you would have a property portfolio, or you are thinking of investing in real estate and you would like some legal advice, contact DMH Stallard for more information.

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