The March 2020 Budget was tipped as being a critical one for the UK housing market. However, the need to focus on measures which will hopefully curtail the Coronavirus limited what could be introduced. There were still a range of measures introduced, and as you would expect, there is a broad range of opinions on the new measures.
The surcharge for non-UK residents is likely to be a contentious issue for many reasons. While there are many who support this measure, it is far from being universally acclaimed. Some of the critics have focused on the lead-time, which may encourage non-UK residents to buy property this year before the surcharge is in place.
There is also the fact some people believe this measure to be most effective for the London and South East housing market. Mark Hayward is the Chief Executive of NAEA Propertymark, and he has spoken about the stamp duty surcharge, 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.”
While there has been limited support for first-time buyers, second-time buyers also find stepping on to the property ladder a challenging prospect. There needs to be a greater level of support for these property buyers too, as this will help to ensure there are homes available for first-time buyers.
Steve Seal is the managing director of specialist lender, Bluestone Mortgages, and he spoke about this subject, saying; “With Help to Buy closing to second-time buyers in April, it’s discouraging that today’s Budget did not announce a replacement scheme for this community.”
There has also been criticism for the Government regarding the management of the letting industry, and a lack of support for landlords. The Residential Landlords Association (RLA) and the National Landlords Association (NLA) have worked together to create a joint statement detailing some of their concerns for landlords, and the letting industry.
The statement criticises the Government's efforts to increase homeownership levels by attacking the rental sector. The statement also said that landlords would be the hardest hit in the community, and Ministers need to realise the impact of their measures.
If you are keen to make a move in the property or lettings market in 2020, we can help. We can provide you with a property valuation, and we are here to ensure you get all the support and guidance you require. No matter what your property plans are, call on Coakley & Theaker today, and we will be more than happy to assist you.