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Spring Budget: Will there be help for housing?

Agents are hopeful of support for the property market in today’s Spring Budget.

It could be the Chancellor Jeremy Hunt’s final fiscal update before a General Election this year.

There were rumours of a 99% mortgage scheme for first-time buyers but this is reported to be scrapped.

Instead, agents are pinning their hopes on Stamp Duty reform, such as supporting downsizers or changing the property tax thresholds.

More widely, there are rumours of a further national insurance tax cut, which could put more money in people’s pockets and hopefully boost buyer budgets.

Kevin Shaw, national sales managing director at Leaders Romans Group, said: “Movement in the housing market also contributes substantially to a sense of wellbeing in the economy and in individuals’ lives – both of which are fundamental when it comes to voting to keep the government in power or go for an alternative.

"With a General Election only months away, I would hope that the Government appreciates what some tweaks to fiscal policy could do – to their own benefit as well as to the country at large.”

Shaw said the Government’s focus must be on reducing inflation so that interest rates fall and mortgages with them. 

He added: “While changes to interest rates per se aren’t within the Government’s control, creating the right environment for an interest rate change certainly is.”

Meanwhile, Propertymark has urged the Chancellor not to waste the upcoming Spring Budget and focus on housing.

The agency trade body said Hunt’s options include expanding the First Homes scheme to the secondhand housing market and reducing Stamp Duty on buy-to-let property and providing incentives for “last-time buyers.”

Timothy Douglas, head of policy and campaigns at Propertymark, said:  “Rishi Sunak should remember that as Chancellor he brought in a Stamp Duty holiday during the Covid-19 pandemic that encouraged many people to purchase a home, which had huge knock-on impacts for the wider economy. He really should consider bringing this back in during a time when rising interest rates and inflation have both made it harder for people to purchase the home of their dreams.

“This Budget will likely be UK Government’s last one before a general election. Housing was omitted in the Autumn Statement, yet it is a huge issue for everyone. Houseb uilders need incentives to build more homes, and homebuyers also need incentives to move. Landlords need incentives to stay in the market, new landlords to join and existing good landlords to expand their portfolios to help meet the huge demand for property to rent. 

“The Chancellor and UK Government must not waste this opportunity.”

Building society Nationwide’s Spring Budget wish list includes commissioning an independent review of the first-time buyer market to identify the challenges facing the sector as well as Stamp Duty reform, reintroducing the Help to Buy Isa and enablng more lending at high loan to income levels.

  • Andrew Stanton PROPTECH-PR A Consultancy for Proptech Founders

    Strange that Propertymark should be backing a SDLT tax break from the Chancellor, as all the last one did under Rishi Sunak was to drive prices skyward, bunch sales, and helped feed into interest rates increasing, after which the market stagnated and completion levels last year dropped by 200,000.

    The housing market, is just that a market and each time the Government puts its size ten boots all over it the industry has to deal with the 'unseen' consequences that most junior agents could have predicted if asked. The SPAD's who actually run policy and politicians; would do well to actually get out into the world and talk to some property professionals prior to briefing their MP's, ministers and PM.

  • icon

    The stamp duty holiday caused a boom and booms are disruptive. What the housing market needs is a permanent lowering of stamp duty across the board. There are many wishing to move but won't because they already feel they pay more than enough tax to those in charge to waste. Remember stamp duty was a reasonable 1% for years, many don't know or forget this. More homes would come to the market if this tax was lowered. The spin off's from more housing transactions would refill the Gov't coffers, also enabling easier movement of labour and allowing people to get on with their lives. George Osbourne has much to answer for!

  • Charlie Lamdin

    That'll be a no then!


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