events. As such, this year’s iteration of the Autumn Statement carried far greater significance than previous addresses and provided the Government with an opportunity to establish direction, focus, and clarity in a post-EU referendum Britain.
Given that the UK is an incredibly asset rich nation, with the residential property market valued at £6.17 trillion in January 2016, reassurance of the sector’s performance is crucial in such a transitional period. It was therefore encouraging to hear directed policies for the property market outlined in this year’s statement. In his first Autumn Statement as Chancellor, Philip Hammond delivered notable announcements that centred on the future of Britain’s letting market, targets for affordable homes, and infrastructure developments for new property. Some of the standout measures:
- Letting agent fees are to be abolished
- The Government is to launch a £2.3 billion fund to develop infrastructure for up to 100,000 new homes in sought-after areas
- £1.4 billion worth of investment to build 40,000 new affordable homes
- London will benefit from an additional £3.15 billion worth of national affordable housing funds to construct over 90,000 homes
Despite the positive policies surrounding the UK property market, especially with regards to the commitment to affordable housing, the Autumn Statement also omitted some rather surprising measures. Stamp Duty was one such omission that, if addressed, had the potential to create a greater incentive to invest in the UK’s thriving property sector.
Prior to the announcement, our CEO Paresh Raja spoke to Bdaily to offer his expectations of Hammond’s inaugural Autumn Statement. To see how the Government’s policy directives measured up to our preferred agenda for the announcement, read the coverage in full here.
The coverage in Bdaily also arrived at an exciting time for MFS as our latest research report, Asset Rich, Credit Poor – which explored the plight of affluent Britain in the credit approval process – launched with an impressive reception from the national press, with prominent coverage in This is Money.
The response from the nation’s media was encouraging, as it acknowledged the often overlooked obstacles faced by asset rich individuals when seeking credit or loans from traditional sources, brought to light by our nationally representative survey. It also highlighted the role that bridging finance and alternative lending plays in order to fill the void created by an inflexible and archaic credit approval process.
We look forward to updating you on more coverage of our report’s findings and the next round of research commissioned by MFS.