Earlier this week, the biggest day for the country’s finances took place, as UK Chancellor Philip Hammond revealed the contents of this year’s Budget. So, what was in it for the property market?
Here, we take a look at the headline figures.
Housing shortages were expected to be addressed in the 2017 Budget, and the predictions were right – with Mr Hammond pledging an overall figure of £44 billion over the next five years to ensure that 300,000 new homes are built each year by the middle of the 2020s.
He also announced the launch of a review into ‘land banking’ – where sites which have planning permission are not built upon by the developers; an interim report will reportedly be available in time for the Spring statement.
Stamp Duty cut for England and Wales
There’s no denying that the headline figure from the 2017 Budget was been the announcement that Stamp Duty will be scrapped for first-time buyers on properties up to £500,000 – with those up to £300,000 exempt from paying any Stamp Duty. It is hoped that such a move will enable first time buyers to more easily get on to the property ladder, as they will be able to use funds that would have went on Stamp Duty to instead put down a bigger deposit.
Help to Buy
As part of the claimed extra £2bn coming Scotland’s way as announced in the 2017 Budget, part of that figure is said to be designed to go towards funding Help To Buy, another measure which was introduced in recent years to help bolster first-time buyers’ deposits, which the Government hope will in turn lead to more young people getting a foot on the property ladder.
What does this all mean for Scotland?
As it stands, the above points are mostly indications of what could be in store for Scotland, as much of the relevant changes announced by the Chancellor do not apply to Scotland. Housing, for example, is a devolved matter, under the control of the Scottish Parliament since 1998, which makes Mr Hammond’s measures potential indicators for what changes could be coming in Scotland (in terms of housing).
The Stamp Duty cut, for instance, would affect Scotland differently compared to the rest of the UK, as our system is different.
Here, our version of Stamp Duty is the Land and Buildings Transactions Tax (LBBT), which replaced Stamp Duty in April 2015. As LBBT does not kick in until prices over and above £145,000, compared to £125,000+ via Stamp Duty down south, it is not yet clear if Scotland will follow suit with the Chancellors Stamp Duty cut.
The Scottish Government will reveal all in its own Budget next month (December 14), which will provide a real insight into changes with the Scottish property market. For now, we simply have the above indicators from Westminster to go in – which do at least prove that housing, and the property market generally, are a big focus at the moment.
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