It's that time of year again – just before we kick off the festive season, Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond has made an appearance with his shiny red briefcase. And that can only mean one thing: there's a new autumn budget with plenty of measures in place to help fix the housing market and 'restore the dream of homeownership for a new generation.'
If you're buying, selling or planning to rent out a property, here's what you need to know.
No more stamp duty for first-time buyers
Stamp duty has been scrapped for first-time buyers purchasing a property worth up to £300,000. The tax relief also applies to the first £300,000 of homes valued up to £500,000. This means that 95% of first-time buyers across the country will benefit from the change.
An increase to housing benefit
The budget for targeted affordability funding will be increased. This gives local authorities the ability to boost housing benefit in areas where private rents are higher. This could potentially increase profits for landlords in low-affordability areas by reducing the chance of tenants slipping into arrears.
More new homes
A boost to house-building was announced, with a plan to increase the number of new homes to 300,000 per year by the mid 2020s. For ‘the biggest annual increase in housing supply since 1970’, the government will provide over £44 billion of funding over the next five years.
An extension to the Help-to-Buy Equity Loan
This scheme, which allows buyers to purchase a home with a 5% deposit, has helped 135,000 people get on the property ladder. Hammond announced that an extra £10 billion will be set aside for ‘affordable housing’. This is with a view to helping another 135,000 buyers find their first home.
Rent history as part of credit checks
Mortgage applications can be nail-biting for Generation Rent, as these payments don't usually count towards a credit score. This is because credit companies don't have access to this data from private landlords. The government is launching a £2 million competition to encourage FinTech companies to develop a solution.
The empty homes premium
And lastly, there's a bit of bad news for second home owners – local authorities will be able to increase council tax premiums from 50% to 100% on dwellings that are sitting empty. Our advice? Make the most of that holiday home property while you can.