Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond made the announcement towards the end of his Budget speech, which also reached out to first-time buyers purchasing properties in more expensive parts of the country, such as London. In this case, stamp duty will no longer be due on the first £300,000 of properties worth up to £500,000.
This means that 80% of first-time buyers will be exempt from paying any stamp duty, while 95% will benefit from the stamp duty cut.
Though the Budget did not focus on landlords, there was some promising news for them. This includes launching a consultation ‘on barriers to longer tenancies’. This might mean offering tax breaks to landlords who provide tenants with more secure tenancies.
However, those with empty properties could be hit by an increase in council tax charges after the government pledged to give local authorities the power to enforce this.
But a key issue for the government continues to be the housing shortage. To address this, the Chancellor announced a capital investment programme of approximately £44 billion to support the building of 300,000 new homes annually by 2025.
Reviews will also be launched to look at rent payments and how tenants can be encouraged to pay rent on time, and rent-a-room relief.
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