In the recent budget by the Chancellor Philip Hammond, the biggest giveaway was that stamp duty is to be abolished for first-time buyers on properties up to £300,000. This represents a cut for 80% of first-time buyers. And those spending between £300,000 and £500,000 on their first home will save £5,000 in stamp duty.
Philip Hammond signalled that the government would explore tax breaks for landlords who offer longer-term secure tenancies, this is good news for Generation rent, who will never really own a property themselves.
Share prices of house-building companies fell after Philip Hammond failed to announce the ambitious programme the markets had anticipated. The chancellor said he planned to commit £44bn in capital funding, loans and guarantees to support the UK housing market. He claimed this would help deliver 300,000 new homes a year.
Member of the public that was hoping for some good news, given the chaotic rollout of universal credit will be disappointed. But claimants were thrown a bone in the form of a £1.5bn package to help “address concerns about the operation of the system”. From January 2018, those who need it will be able to access up to a month’s worth of universal credit within five days via an interest-free advance. And to ease problems with rent arrears, from April those on housing benefit will continue to receive payments for the first two weeks of universal credit claims.
Overall the Autumn Budget was a little bit of a damp squib, given all the hype overall in the press in the preceding weeks leading up to the Budget. There is a lot of uncertainty at the moment, in relation to the Brexit negotiations with the EU, and once these key Brexit issues have settled and agreed, then there would be a more confidence in consumers and the employers going forward who are key to the growth of UK plc.