Adrian Gill, director of Reeds Rains estate agents, comments: “Once again, the Chancellor is using housing as his prize pony – and his latest trick of a London Help to Buy scheme should be extremely well received. The Chancellor will always faces a delicate balancing act between various different camps, and he’s clearly chosen to champion homeownership – but many others may lose out as a result.
“First time buyers of the future are tenants now. So with rents rising at generally the same speed as house prices it’s not clear how hitting landlords will help homeownership in the long run. If the additional budget for these 200,000 starter homes and 135,000 Help to Buy affordable properties comes at the expense of new homes to rent, then this will have a knock-on effect on rents for tenants, and this will stunt the pipeline of future homeowners. Levying an additional 3% stamp duty on buy-to-let purchases has introduced a massive stumbling block to supply in the private rented sector. The Government is essentially giving with one hand, while taking from another further down the line.
“In addition, there is a lot of detail missing. You can’t buy homes until they’re built. Osborne may be tackling planning, but lack of available land remains an issue, and converting prisons will not go far enough to fill the void.”
The Autumn Statement, November 2015
- Housing budget will be doubled to £2bn a year – funding 400,000 new affordable homes by the end of the decade
- Right to buy will be extended to more housing associations
- There will be a new stamp duty, 3% higher than normal stamp duty for people buying buy-to-let homes and second properties
- London Help to Buy Scheme: From early 2016 the government will increase the upper limit for the equity loan it gives new buyers within Greater London from 20% to 40%. Londoners with just a five per cent deposit will be able to get an interest-free loan worth up to 40 per cent of the value of a newly built home. People then need to get a mortgage of up to 55 per cent to cover the rest.