Our Chairman’s thoughts on ‘Budget 2020’

Rishi Sunak, Chancellor of the Exchequer, has today on 11th March delivered his first Budget in the House of Commons, and our Chairman, Nick Leeming, has provided his thoughts on a number of today’s housing announcements.

“Today’s Budget is in many ways somewhat of an ‘emergency budget’ to mitigate the economic impact caused by Covid-19. As a result, it is not business as normal in Number 11 and we welcome the range of measures announced to help support businesses in these more uncertain economic times and Government’s commitment to providing a £30 billion stimulus to support the economy through Coronavirus.

“It is disappointing that the Government has failed to provide the housing market with a long anticipated reform to stamp duty for UK residents. This is aggravated by the overseas buyer tax, which could now see foreign purchasers pay up to 17% in stamp duty from 2021. Reducing the burden of stamp duty across the board would have provided the market with further momentum following the Boris bounce. Despite this, the higher end of the market may now see movement as foreign buyers look to secure deals ahead of this deadline.

“The Government has teased the industry and home buyers alike with hopes of a future reform to stamp duty, but we don’t expect this to put the brakes on people’s current home buying decisions – particularly now borrowing costs are back down to the lowest level in history following the Bank of England’s cut to interest rates. Since Boris and the Conservative party won the General Election, our branches registered, on average, a 10% increase in new applicants on the year to January, with new instructions in the month also up by 26% compared to January 2019 figures. Despite this, there are some pockets of the market that just aren’t budging. A targeted relief for homeowners who live in properties that are larger than their needs would help encourage these owners to downsize and free up these homes for families to provide further fluidity in the market. We’ll now be eagerly awaiting the Autumn Statement to see if stamp duty gets the attention it deserves.”

If you have any questions regarding any of the housing announcements made in today’s Budget, please contact your local Jackson-Stops agent who will be very happy to assist.