26 November, 2015
George Osbourne's Autumn Statement yesterday revealed how £4 trillion pounds is to be spent over the next 5 years. The statement aims to remove the deficit completely in the next four years, seeing a £10 billion surplus by 2019.
For the housing and property sector, the announcement sees a particular emphasis on investing in housing to address the current crisis. Osbourne's response is "We are the builders." He has announced that the housing budget will be doubled to £2billion each year, with a focus on developing more affordable housing - to rent and to buy. Osbourne aims to see 400,000 new homes being built, half of which will be made up of starter homes, at a cost of £2.3billion; the other half is to be made up of shared ownership properties, specialist accommodation for elderly and disable people and homes for rent to buy - all with the aim of helping more people get on to that sought after property ladder.
This aim is further supported by the introduction of the Help to Buy Shared Ownership scheme, which will see the option of shared ownership being extended to anyone who has a household income of less than £80,000 (or £90,000 in London), previously £60,000. Mr Osbourne has also announced that nine Victorian prisons will be sold and £1 billion will be spent on building new, more humane prisons. The old prison sites will then be used to develop new housing in the cities. The Right to Buy extension, which was voluntarily accepted by housing associations last month, came in to force from midnight last night and will see 5 housing associations initially piloting this extension being L&Q, Sovereign, Riverside, Saffron Housing and Thames Valley.
There will also be an increase on stamp duty to 3% on buy to let properties and second homes and payments on account of Capital Gains Tax are to be made within 30 days of selling a residential property by 2019.
Some of the other key announcements from today include: