With a new cabinet in place, this year’s Autumn Statement could be a time for ‘all change’ in Britain and with just a few weeks to go, what could be in store for Britain’s homes and businesses?
Last year’s Autumn Statement focused on “a big spending review from a Government that does big things” and we saw various commitments to national and economic security for a country that was to live within its means.
One of the biggest announcements came in the form of the new Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) measures on Buy to Let properties and second homes. This was introduced as a way of stemming the clout that investors had over the purchase of properties against first time buyers, by adding an additional 3% SDLT on the purchase of investment property. The Autumn Statement 2015 also promised the building of 400,000 new affordable homes by the end of the decade and the introduction of a new London Help to Buy scheme. The Government also planned for more public land to be released for the purpose of building property.
So how are we doing one year on? And have there been any early predictions as to what’s in store for this year’s Autumn Statement?
One thing is for sure in that new Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rt. Hon. Philip Hammond, has been quoted in recent press as wanting to distance himself and his strategy from his predecessor, particularly in relation to property and housing. He said that making housing affordable to everyone will be a vital part of building a country that works for everyone – something that was backed up by Communities Secretary, Sajid Javid, who has announced a new £3bn Home Building Fund.
He plans to tackle the issue of housing in the capital by addressing “Generation Rent”. It is deemed that thousands of young Londoners will never own a home in the city, more than 30,000 new flats for rent have either been built, or are in the process of being built, in all but three London boroughs. The Autumn Statement 2016 could be an opportunity for the new housing minister to promote a new focus on the private renting sector that switches away from David Cameron’s mission for owner-occupation, and instead building more houses to rent. With the impending end of the nationwide Help to Buy Scheme, perhaps this could be a sign of future housing occupation.
Finally, early predictions have hinted that the new rates of SDLT for buy to let purchases could be about to take a U-turn. It is thought that there could still be an adverse effect on the London property market and many industry experts have urged the Government to scrap the tax ever since it was introduced in April 2016. In fact, at a recent industry conference, Sajid Javid indicated that the Autumn Statement was the first opportunity for the Chancellor to introduce reform to that area of the market and for delegates to “keep an eye out” for announcements in the run up to the statement.
As with all Government announcements, the devil will be in the detail but in the meantime, if you could benefit from any legal advice relating to property, such as real estate, conveyancing or any other element of private or commercial ownership, then why not contact DMH Stallard to see how we can help.