March 2020 Budget – Housing Market Reaction

News at Household | 17/03/2020

While the March Budget was primarily focused on managing Covid-19, there were some housing measures introduced. In the build-up to the Budget, many observers tipped it would be a housing-focused Budget, but of course, circumstances have changed quickly.

If you are keen to stay informed as to how the housing market is performing, you should call on a local market expert. At Household, we are pleased to offer guidance on how the market is performing, so feel free to call on us.

Stay in touch with housing measures

An overview of the key housing issues announced in the March 2020 Budget include:

•             A new Affordable Homes Programme of £12bn

•             A £1bn Building Safety Fund to remove unsafe cladding from buildings

•             £650m of funding to help rough sleepers into permanent accommodation

•             £400m for ambitious regional mayors to build homes on brownfield sites

•             Promise to announce measures to change the planning system tomorrow

•             A 1% cut on the Public Works Loan Board interest rate, used by local authorities to fund housebuilding

•             A temporary removal of the minimum income floor (which calculates assumed earnings for self-employed people) in Universal Credit as part of the government’s response to coronavirus

•             £200m for communities in areas that repeatedly experience flooding

•             A 2% surcharge on non-UK residents buying property

All these issues are important, but it is easy to see why the surcharge on non-UK residents buying property has grabbed a lot of attention. There has been a range of opinions about this step, and while it is easy to see why many people believe this is a progressive move, there have been some complaints.

Not everyone agrees with the surcharge on non-UK residents buying homes

One issue is that with this measure not being introduced until April 2021, there is ample time for non-UK residents to buy property in the year ahead. Also, many industry observers believe the measures are focused on the London property market.

The chief Executive of NAEA Propertymark released a statement about the surcharge. Mark Hayward initially spoke about how the policy should enable people in the United Kingdom to improve their chances of getting on the property ladder. He then went on to discuss how the majority of buyers from outside the UK buy in the heart of London. The cost of property in these areas tends to make homes out of the reach of most property buyers.

Just Mortgages national operations director John Phillips spoke about the Budget, and he said; “A surcharge for foreign buyers of residential property is something I have argued in favour of for a long time, so it would be churlish for me to criticise it. But what is needed alongside that is a reduction in stamp duty elsewhere. This Budget is being delivered in unexpected and extraordinary circumstances so it is understandable that the chancellor may not see this as a priority. I hope that he will revisit the issue once Covid-19 is under control, in line with the promises previously made by the Prime Minister.”

If you plan on selling your home, we can arrange a valuation for you. At Household, we aim to connect you with likely buyers, and we can help you find what buyers need. When it comes to selling your home in Toddington and Dunstable, we are your local agents, so contact us today.