Philip Hammond’s last Budget before Brexit he signaled the end of the long era of austerity, announcing income tax cuts and spending on the NHS, roads and social care.
The Budget 2018 and what it means for London buyers
In the Chancellor, Philip Hammond’s last Budget before Brexit he signaled the end of the long era of austerity, announcing income tax cuts and spending on the NHS, roads and social care. But what does it mean for anyone looking to buy or sell in London in 2019?
In his budget speech the Chancellor acknowledged that tackling the housing shortage is crucial to the economy. “We can’t resolve the productivity challenge or deliver the high standards of living the British people deserve without fixing our housing market,” he said, before outlining a package of measures:
Help for first-time buyers
Mr Hammond announced the abolition of stamp duty for first-time buyers of shared ownership properties priced below £500,000. The measure follows last year’s Autumn Budget, when the Chancellor removed stamp duty on homes worth up to £300,000, for first-time buyers. According to Mr Hammond, this has so far helped 121,500 people onto the housing ladder, bringing the number of mortgages for first-time buyers to an 11-year high.
The Help to Buy equity loan scheme - which offers first-time buyers of new-build properties government loans of up to 40% in London, was due to end in 2021 – it will now be extended until 2023.
Homes on the high street
Mr Hammond announced a £675m fund to help councils transform struggling high streets with part of this money to be used to turn empty shops into homes. To facilitate this, he promised consultation on simplifying the planning process for converting properties from commercial to residential use.
Increasing the housing supply
An extra £500m was pledged for the Housing Infrastructure Fund – which helps councils put in place the roads and power supplies that enable housebuilding. The money will help deliver 650,000 more homes.
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Evening Standard Homes & Property