The March Budget mainly focused on measures being introduced to halt the Coronavirus, which meant the housing market didn’t receive as much focus as people expected it to. Given housing was a priority for the Conservative Party in the build-up to the General Election, it is understandable that this was tipped to be at the heart of announcements.
Of course, times change, and there was a need to focus on halting Coronavirus, and providing support for those who need help. However, there were still some housing measures introduced, and as you would expect, there has been debate as to how suitable these measures are.
Stamp duty surcharge will be introduced
In 2021, there will be a 2% surcharge on stamp duty for non-UK residents buying property in the country. A lot of people have said this is a sensible move, and one which will help people buy property. Of course, there is also an opinion that this is unlikely to create the outcome many people hope for.
Some of the criticism levelled at the measure include the fact it is a measure mainly focused on the London property market. Another complaint is related to the measure being introduced next year, which means there is nothing to stop prospective non-UK buyers snapping up property this year.
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.”
Richard Donnell is the Director of Research & Insight at Zoopla, and he said; “The additional 2% Stamp Duty surcharge for non-UK resident buyers represents the latest in a long series of tax reforms, and may have a short-term impact on demand in higher value markets once it is introduced. For those who are looking at a longer-term hold, the additional upfront purchase cost will diminish in significance over time. In the interim, however, there will likely be some increased activity among non-UK residents looking to purchase before the new rules come into force.”
Is enough being done to support landlords?
There has also been criticism for the Government for not doing enough to support landlords and the letting industry. The Residential Landlords Association and the National Landlords Association issued a joint statement criticising the lack of backing for this sector.
The statement said; “The Government is undermining its own efforts to boost homeownership through its attacks on the private rented sector. By choking-off supply and making renting more expensive it is tenants who are hardest hit. Ministers need to wake up to the reality of the damage their tax measures are doing to the private rented sector and support landlords to provide the new homes for private rent we desperately need.”
Whatever move you intend to make in 2020, you can rely on Williams of Petersfield to provide you with support and guidance. We are pleased to provide you with a property valuation, which is an essential component in placing your property on the market. No matter what assistance you require, contact Williams of Petersfield today, and we will be more than happy to assist you.