Philip Hammond has waved his red briefcase outside 11 Downing Street and outlined the UK government’s spending and taxation plans over the next financial year.
In his 72-minute speech, the chancellor announced a series of measures for housing amongst other fiscal policies that will impact the next few years.
The big winners
One of the main winners from Monday’s announcement are first-time buyers who will continue to benefit from a suspension of stamp duty on the purchase of their first home, saving thousands of pounds in the process.
The policy has already seen first-time home purchases reach an 11-year high and the exclusion of stamp duty on these purchases has been extended to now include shared ownership homes up to the value of £500,000 – it was previously only set out for 100 per cent purchases up to £300,000. In addition to this, it will allow for retrospective inclusion too, allowing for recent purchasers to have their duty waived.
With this announcement on the ongoing exemption of stamp duty for first-time buyers, now is the time for those looking to get onto the property ladder to purchase their first home. Partnered with supporting schemes such as Help to Buy and shared ownership initiatives that are currently available on the housing market, this financial relief can make a real difference when purchasing a home for the first time.”
Hammond outlines housing plans
The chancellor also announced several other housing schemes to help increase the housing supply, improve the quality of new homes, and bolster the figures for those owning their own home. Initiatives are also being introduced to help local residents purchase a home within their place of upbringing.
Mr Hammond has pledged £500m to the Housing Infrastructure Fund which is aimed at building 650,000 new homes, while also announcing a new wave of strategic partnerships with nine housing associations to deliver 13,000 homes. Both of these announcements are aimed at increasing the supply and choice of homes to prospective purchasers across the nation.
Plans have also been set out to increase the mobility of housing by allowing for commercial property to be converted for residential purposes through a much simpler process. Funding will also be provided to 500 neighbourhoods with the objective of allocating homes at a reduced price to local people who have been priced out of living in their hometowns.
Other household expenses
Everyday items were also on the chancellor’s agenda, including the duty on fuel and alcohol which affects the price of the fuel we put in our cars and any drinks we may enjoy on an evening or weekend. The duty rates for fuel will remain frozen at current levels, set to save motorists up to £1,000 a year in fuel costs.
Similarly, the duty level on beers, cider and spirits will remain at current rates of 43p per pint of beer, 23p per pint of cider, £2.16 per bottle of wine and £7.54 per bottle of spirit, meaning the price of tipple is expected to remain at current prices over the next fiscal year.