George Osborne’s Autumn Statement contained a number of announcements that will have a significant effect on families and homeowners across the UK.
We look at when these changes are set to take effect, and what they will mean for you and your family in 2016 and beyond.
More new homes
The government intends to increase the number of new homes being built with a new commitment from housebuilders to construct starter homes.
Following an initial announcement in October 2014, these houses will be sold at a discount of 20 per cent for prices up to £450,000 in London and £250,000 elsewhere.
It will be open to first-time buyers under the age of 40, with £2.3 billion being spent on building 200,000 starter homes over the next five years.
Furthermore, 10,000 homes are to be built that will enable tenants to save for a deposit while they are renting.
This will be in addition to 50,000 affordable homes from existing government commitments and a minimum of 8,000 specialist homes for older people and those with disabilities.
Further measures have also been set out to accelerate housing supply and ensure more homes are built, by bringing forward reforms to the planning system.
These include establishing a new test on local authorities, to ensure delivery against the number of homes set out in local plans, and supporting the availability of appropriate land for housing.
It will see the release of public sector land with capacity for 160,000 homes, including unused and previously undeveloped commercial, retail and industrial land for starter homes.
This will be complemented by the regeneration of previously developed brownfield sites in the green belt, by allowing them to be developed in the same way as other brownfield land, as long as it contributes to starter homes, and subject to local consultation.
Stamp Duty changes
In order to further boost opportunities for homeownership, higher rates of Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) are to be charged on purchases of additional residential properties, such as buy to let properties and second homes.
This will take effect from April 1 2016, with the higher rates being three percentage points above the current ones.
The government is to use some of the additional tax collected to provide £60 million for communities in England where the impact of second homes is particularly acute, and go towards doubling the affordable housing budget and benefitting first-time buyers.
Along with the government’s capital programme, loan schemes and Help to Buy measures, housing investment will total £20 billion over the spending review period.
Mr Osborne also set out measures to help improve the transparency of mortgage fees and make it easier for borrowers to choose the best deals.
It follows a government-commissioned joint report by Which? and the Council of Mortgage Lenders, which committed to several key actions including the standardising of both the presentation and definition of mortgage fees, in a bid to help first-time buyers and other aspiring homeowners across the UK to move up the property ladder.