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What does the Autumn Statement mean for the Hampshire property market?

View profile for Paul Winslade
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Chancellor Philip Hammond’s Autumn Statement on 23rd November reviewed many areas for this Parliament to be working on, with housing first on the agenda as a priority to build more affordable housing.  Paul Winslade, Residential Conveyancing Partner, here reviews the key points arising from the Autumn Statement, as well as the ramifications for tenants, landlords and first time buyers in Hampshire.

40,000 affordable homes

The Chancellor stated himself in the Autumn Statement that ‘for too many the goal of home ownership remains out of reach’ and therefore £1.4billion has been set aside to deliver 40,000 affordable homes by 2020/2021.  “This promise is targeting those first time buyers who struggle to save up for a deposit,” explains Paul.  “However the question is whether 40,000 homes will go far enough to address the problem, as government figures published recently show that affordable housing is at its lowest level since 2001.”

Housing Infrastructure Fund

As well as these 40,000 homes, a £2.3billion Housing Infrastructure Fund is to be launched with the purpose to provide 100,000 new homes in high demand areas.  “Again the question of whether this is enough to close the gap between supply and demand has been raised,” continues Paul.  “In order to make this work the fund must be used to build the right type of housing that people need in the areas where it is needed most.” 

Ban on lettings agent fees

Heavily publicised since the Autumn Statement, this news has been hit with mixed views.  “While tenants have welcomed the news initially as there will be no heavy administrative fees to pay, this could mean that the costs are passed onto the landlords, resulting in them finding other ways to recover the cost; most likely through higher rental costs,” explains Paul. 

Investment and buy-to-let properties

Ahead of the Autumn Statement, landlords were hoping for a reversal on the regulations around stamp duty charges for second homes and the cut to mortgage tax relief.  “This was not granted which could mean we will start to see a decline in the purchase of buy-to-let properties as they no longer appear to be a viable option for investment,” continues Paul.  “This could be good news for first time buyers as there is less competition to buy the properties, however it could mean that rent costs will increase as landlords look to recover costs from elsewhere, and so tenants may find it harder to save for a deposit without assistance from family members.  The rental market could also be impacted as fewer properties become available to meet demand.

“All of these declarations were only touched on during the Autumn Statement with limited detail as to how they will be implemented in the coming weeks, months and years,” concludes Paul.  “We are waiting eagerly now for the Housing White Paper which should be released soon and will clarify these details.  This year has seen a changing property market with stamp duty changes and the impact of the referendum decision.  We are now starting to see a returned confidence in the market and hope that this will continue as housing and property are brought to the forefront of the Parliamentary agenda.”

If you are looking to buy or sell a property you can contact Paul or one of the Residential Conveyancing team by visiting their section of the website here or emailing conveyancingquote@warnergoodman.co.uk.

ENDS

This is for information purposes only and is no substitute for, and should not be interpreted as, legal advice.  All content was correct at the time of publishing and we cannot be held responsible for any changes that may invalidate this article.