Disappointing budget for property sector

Local estate agents Petty have expressed disappointment with Philip Hammond's budget.

Ian Bythell, residential director at Petty’s, said: “There was little in Philip Hammond’s budget for the property sector to believe the government really does prioritise the 'housing crisis'.”

Hammond said first time buyer numbers were now at an 11-year high thanks to the stamp duty relief on mainstream homes announced last year and that he would therefore extend this relief to first time buyers of shared ownership homes, applying this retrospectively to late last year and applying to properties costing up to £500,000.

He also announced the government would provide £8.5m to develop ways that up to 500 parishes can allocate or permission land for homes sold at a discount to people with a direct connection to the area, which could prove useful for more rural locations.

The chancellor also confirmed previous announcements that the government was spending £44bn on house building and the stamp duty relief. There will also be a new strategic partnership for social housing with nine housing associations, and there’s to be a £1bn boost in the form of Business Bank guarantees for small and medium sized house builders.

Whilst this is welcome news, industry experts have said it doesn’t go far enough and were especially disappointed with the announcements relating to the lettings sector with new legislation further restricting lettings relief for landlords, bad news for both landlords and tenants. Ian said: “There are one or two positives to pull from this budget but that was all. The chancellor could have done a lot more. I think he missed an opportunity by not going far enough on Stamp Duty. As the areas only Relocation Network Agents we see a good number of second steppers or last-time buyers looking to downsize who could have been given a boost by this too.”