Autumn Statement 2015: winners and losers George Osborne’s 2015 Autumn Statement has stirred up the UK housing industry. Some forward-thinking property experts saw the changes coming, but for most it was a surprise.
Autumn Statement 2015: winners and losers
George Osborne’s 2015 Autumn Statement has stirred up the UK housing industry. Some forward-thinking property experts saw the changes coming, but for most it was a surprise.
The biggest winners are first-time-buyers and families looking to leap onto the housing ladder. Here is a summary of the Autumn Statement:
•Chancellor George Osborne “proclaimed a crisis of home ownership in our country” in his Autumn Statement and pledged to solve the problem.
•“We made a start in the last parliament and with schemes like Help to Buy, the number of first-time buyers rose by 60 per cent. But frankly we need to do much more. Today we set out our bold plan to back families who aspire to buy their own home,” he said.
•He promised to earmark £7bn to build 400,000 new houses across the UK, half of them starter homes for first-time buyers. Approximately £2.3billion will be paid directly to developers to build the starter homes. Mr Osborne says it will be the “biggest housebuilding programme since the 1970s”. First time buyers under 40 will get a 20% discount on prices up to £450,000 in London and £250,000 elsewhere. Buyers will still need to find a 5% deposit.
•He will also boost shared-ownership schemes by £4bn to provide more properties for households earning less than £80,000 (or £90,000 in London) who want to get on the housing ladder. Restrictions on who can buy shared-ownership homes will be removed and the planning system will get a shake-up so that more homes can be built.
•However, in his eagerness to help the young get on the housing ladder, Mr Osborne has again targeted landlords. People buying second homes, whatever they are planning to use them for, will face an extra 3% stamp duty from April. What this might mean in practice is that there will be a rush by landlords to buy properties ahead of the implementation of this measure in April. Presumably George Osborne is hoping that the measure will deter would be landlords and free the housing market up for first time buyers. What is more likely to happen is that landlords will go for the lower end of the housing market – those properties costing less than £125,000, to minimise their tax liabilities.
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