The changing nature of life in Britain today means the March 2020 Budget didn’t quite go as expected. Even allowing for the fact that many people believed this would be the Brexit Budget, the current threat of the Coronavirus took centre stage.
It is perfectly reasonable that this was the key focus of the Budget, and in the long-term, the more that is done to quell the virus, the better. However, it means that housing matters may not have received as much focus as many in the industry would have expected.
Non-UK residents will pay a surcharge when buying property next year
The leading housing measure introduced during the March Budget was the stamp duty surcharge for non-UK residents buying property. These buyers will have to pay an additional two per cent from 2021.
While this has been welcomed in some quarters, there has been opposition to this measure. As the surcharge begins next year, some industry observers believe it will lead to an increase in property sales to foreign investors for the rest of this year.
There is also the suggestion that this move will be of most benefit to the London property market, and may not change the housing market in the rest of the country.
Mark Hayward is the CEO of NAEA Propertymark, and he spoke about the surcharge for foreign buyers and investors, saying; “If introduced, this policy allows those in the UK to have a better chance at purchasing a home. However, overseas buyers tend to purchase properties in prime central London which are completely unaffordable to most homebuyers anyway. Therefore, this move will not help those that need it most.”
A range of housing matters were introduced in the March Budget
Some of the other housing measures mentioned in the March 2020 Budget include:
- An allocation of £1.1bn from the housing infrastructure to build close to 70,000 homes in areas of high demand.
- The Affordable Homes Programme has been extended until 2025, with an additional £12.2bn being provided. This programme was due to end in 2021.
- The introduction of the Grenfell Building Safety Fund, which is close to £1bn. This money will be utilised in removing cladding from residential buildings which stand taller than 18 metres.
There was no further clarification on the First Homes scheme. “It is understandable that housing wasn’t front and centre in the March Budget, at least not to the extent many of us hoped for”, said Thomas Morris Huntingdon Branch Manager Caroline Woodall. “However, we believe demand for property will continue throughout 2020, and no matter move you wish to make this year, we are here to assist you.”
Selling your home is stressful, but with the right support, you can make the process easier. If you are keen to sell your home this year, we are happy to help. Book a valuation at a time that is suitable to you or; you can phone our Huntingdon branch, managed by Caroline Woodall by calling us on 01480 414555.