There’s definitely some positive news for the property industry in today’s budget, but we believe more could be done to help people get their foot on the property ladder.
The stamp duty holiday on properties up to £500,000 will be extended until the end of June and a holiday on properties up to £250,000 will continue until the end of September, before the usual holiday on properties up to £125,000 resumes in October. If you’re currently in the house buying or selling process, this will hopefully relieve the bottleneck currently experienced as solicitors and agents rushed to get sales done before the end of March. It will also continue to stimulate the housing market, that has been lucky enough to continue operating throughout restrictions.
First time buyers will be helped on the ladder by a new mortgage guarantee enabling them to access 95% mortgages. This is very welcomed, however, demand for homes in the UK continues to outstrip supply and we believe this to be a key issue impacting prices of property, with record prices being seen across the country.
Government should take greater steps to ensure everyone can afford a home, such as:
- Incentivise SME developers to convert existing stock, such as retail, into affordable residential homes
- Invest in skills and training to meet current labour shortages in the construction industry
- Ensure additional funding and resources is made available to Local Authority planning departments so applications can be dealt with quickly and new affordable homes can be built