Nick Leeming, Chairman of Jackson-Stops, comments following the Chancellor’s Spring Statement

Following the Chancellor’s Spring Statement today, Nick Leeming, Chairman of Jackson-Stops, comments: “While high energy costs were front and centre in the Chancellor’s statement, today’s announcements missed an opportunity to tackle the climate conundrum in the long term for the UK’s housing stock. Homeowners want to play their part and make their homes more energy efficient but the cost of doing so and lack of clarity on what needs to be done is holding them back.

“Funding and support to help homeowners retrofit and install low carbon heating currently does not go far enough, feeling convoluted and vastly inaccessible for many. The government’s target of reducing domestic energy usage by 15% by 2030 is ambitious and won’t be possible without a joined up effort from Government and the property industry alike. Introducing zero-rate VAT for building repairs on period property to encourage essential maintenance would be well received, going beyond just energy efficient materials as we know such upgrades cannot be done in isolation. Longer-term measures to ensure that our historic homes are protected, means making them fit for the future now.

“Now is also the time for the Government to consider how to make our existing housing market more liquid to support economic growth, as new housing delivery is in decline. Measures such as offering a tax break incentive for downsizers - or indeed right-sizers - to find a home that suits their changing lifestyle, would free up much needed housing stock at the middle and upper end of the market, and one that could be well received amongst older homeowners who are suffering most with high energy costs. New reports suggest that the over-65s are bearing the brunt of the energy crisis, in some cases having to pay £611 more per year on bills than under 30s, due to the increased likelihood of them owning a house for a much longer stretch of time and therefore without the impetus, or in some cases, funding, to renovate to become more efficient.”