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The Autumn Budget 2017: A property-related roundup

Jamie Royston

As forecast and expected, the property industry featured heavily in the Autumn Budget 2017. Chancellor Philip Hammond made a number of announcements that will have a significant impact on housing and the property sector.
Auction House London explores some of the biggest property-related initiatives in the Budget and how they’re likely to affect the industry

Stamp duty axed for first-time buyers on up to £300,000

The biggest announcement has to be the news that first-time buyers no longer have to pay stamp duty on properties costing up to £300,000. For properties over £300,000, in London for example, first-time buyers will only pay stamp duty on the amount above £300,000.

The initiative is a bid to encourage more people out of rented houses and onto the property ladder and to help buyers afford their first home. The move is likely to be welcomed by house buyers looking to purchase their first property and shows commitment from the government to encourage a nation of homeowners.

Council tax premiums on empty property

Another major announcement for the housing market in the Autumn Budget was that local authorities will be able to charge a 100% council tax premium on any empty properties in their area.

Faced with the challenge of there being a chronic shortage of houses in Britain, the council tax initiative is aimed at encouraging the owners of empty homes to either sell or let the property. By freeing up empty homes, the move will add more stock into the property market.

The building of new houses

Stepping up from an earlier promise to build one million new homes by 2020, in the Autumn Budget the Chancellor pledged to build 300,000 new homes each year by the middle of the 2020s. To meet its house building targets, the Chancellor says the government will provide £44bn in loans, capital funding and guarantees over the next five years.
The extra surge in house building is part of the government’s drive to increase the number of available housing there is in Britain during forthcoming years.

By making homes more affordable for first-time buyers, increasing new house building targets to help meet demand, and by discouraging property to sit unused and empty to add more to the housing stock, the Chancellor’s Autumn Budget 2017 can certainly be described as being a positive step for the property sector as a whole.

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