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In the recent Spring Statement, Chancellor of the Exchequer – Phillip Hammond – outlined the country’s plans for the property market in the next year.
While there was not a long list of new developments and announcements from the Government on the UK property market, there were at least a few key points worth noting, along with reaffirming plans outlined in previous statements.
It was announced in the Autumn budget 2017 that a Government investment programme would inject £44 billion over the course of 5 years with the hope that they would be able to provide 300,000 new homes by the mid-2020s.
The Spring Statement 2018 provided more detail on how the Government plans to deliver on their targets.
It details that the Government is working with 44 areas throughout the UK to help support their bids for the £4.1 billion Housing Infrastructure Fund which will help to build the homes that the country needs.
It also states that they will double their support for the Housing Growth Partnership, a social impact investor set up to help small builders and developers, who will receive £220 million.
London is set to receive significant funding, as the Government plans to inject £1.67 billion into the capital to help build 27,000 affordable homes by the end of 2021/22.
The Spring Statement also gave mention to the progress made since the removal of stamp duty for first-time buyers, detailing that approximately 60,000 buyers have benefitted so far.
Many experts within the property industry have offered their opinions on the recent announcements, with a belief that these are positive signs, but more work will be required to completely solve the affordability problem.
Simon Heawood, CEO of property investment platform, Bricklane, spoke on the Spring announcement, stating:
“The recent cut to stamp duty and building announcements are welcome for those lucky enough to be able to buy. We would like to see more done to help those saving to get on the ladder, as well as moves to further professionalise the rental market for tenants.”
Some experts feel that the abolishment of stamp duty for first-time buyers should also be relevant for those who are “further up the ladder”. This sentiment was shared by Shaun Church, Director of Private Finance, who expressed that this type of ‘activity’ should be seen at ‘all levels’, as it is ‘vital’ to solving the affordability problem.
Church said “…the prohibitively high cost of moving is continuing to dampen activity at the upper end of the property market. While this might not seem like a problem for ordinary buyers, a healthy market requires plenty of movement at all rungs of the ladder. A blockage at the top will have a trickle-down effect, as those who want to upsize may struggle to find any properties available, which will, in turn, impact those further down the chain.”