Yesterday, Chancellor Philip Hammond presented the 2017 Autumn Budget, the first major fiscal statement since the formation of the Conservative-led minority Government. Having moved the country’s flagship fiscal statement from spring to November, the Autumn Budget now serves as one of the most important dates in the political and economic calendar, setting out the Government’s plan for financial stability and long-term growth.
Paving the way for the country’s post-Brexit future, the Budget was geared towards innovation, infrastructure investment and the housing market. Heeding calls from the property industry to address stamp duty, it was positive to see the Government take the step to cut the tax for first-time homebuyers. However, for homeowners looking to upgrade or expand their property portfolio, there was little offered in the way of stamp duty relief. This was an opportunity missed, and something that will need to be addressed soon to support fluid and consistent property transactions over the coming years.
Furthermore, the Government’s decision to increase the number of properties available on the market through the construction of new houses is a step forward, but this needs to be supported by the ongoing roll-out of new measures. With recent MFS research revealing that 81% of UK adults would rather live in an older home than a new-build, the Government should consider policy that encourages the refurbishment of run-down existing homes to boost housing supply.
In this highly competitive marketplace, timely access to finance will remain vital for those looking to execute their investment strategies efficiently. MFS will play its role to ensure investors are made aware of alternative lending options and are therefore able to take full advantage of the wealth of prime opportunities on offer across the UK’s residential and commercial property markets.
For a complete breakdown of the 2017 Autumn Budget, click here to download MFS’ Budget Factsheet.