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Autumn Statement 2016 - Round-Up

In his first Autumn Statement, Chancellor Philip Hammond aims to increase productivity and to create greater stability for businesses. He has made a particular effort to support people who are ‘just about managing’.

Here is a round-up of the announcements made that concern the property sector:

  • There will be a complete ban on charges that letting agents can levy on tenants. The measure has been brought in to save 4.3 million households hundreds of pounds. A date for the ban has not yet been set.
  • As part of a new National productivity investment scheme, £28bn will be spent on innovation and infrastructure. A specific Housing Infrastructure Fund of £2.3bn will deliver the infrastructure for up to 100,000 new homes in areas of high demand.
  • To boost housing supply, a £1.4bn investment in the delivery of 40,000 additional affordable homes will be made.
  • Relaxed government grant restrictions will facilitate a wider range of housing types and give developers better freedom of choice.
  • A large-scale regional pilot of Right to Buy for Housing Association tenants. There will also be support for homeownership through the Help to Buy: Equity Loan Scheme and Help to Buy ISAs.
  • Additional factors that could lead to a hike in public spending are the National Living Wage increase for over 25s from £7.20 to £7.50 as of April next year, as well as the rise in personal allowance to £11,500 next year (£12,500 long term) and threshold for higher tax rates to £50,000. These will be welcomed by professionals that fall into these brackets.

If any of this affects you, speak to your local agent for their expertise and advice as they will be able to guide you on current market conditions and talk you through the best options for you.