The main theme of the Chancellor George Osborne’s Autumn Statement yesterday was ‘the biggest affordable housebuilding programme since the 1970s’, aimed to tackle the growing crisis of home ownership in Britain.
The ‘house building package’ of announcements included several headline grabbing statistics, including:
- The UK housing budget had been doubled
- 200,000 new homes to be built offering 20% discount for the under 40s
- £4bn to help build 135,000 homes under the ‘help to buy’ scheme: Shared Ownership” homes for households earning less than £80,000 (or £90,000 in London)
- £200m is to be promised for 10,000 new homes which tenants can live in for five years at reduced rents while they save for a deposit before they then have “first right” to buy the home.
- A further £400m is also being allocated to help build 8,000 specialist homes for older people or people with disabilities.
Tim Jordan, Partner & Head of Conveyancing, Residential Property at FDR Law, Warrington, said: “On the face of it, it seems that the Government has made a considerable effort towards addressing the housing crisis, particularly at the affordable end of the market. The move will certainly help to reserve more available housing for families and those starting out on the property ladder. The addition of a 3% extra charge for buy-to-let and second homes on all stamp duty bands above a £40,000 starting level should assist in preventing many buyers being priced out of their local market, which is a particular problem in some parts of Cheshire. With house prices still so much higher in the South these measures may encourage a greater uptake of buyers to the North West, helping to rebalance the Northern economy.
“At the same time, those considering buying a second or investment property should think carefully about acting now before these measures come in on 1 April to avoid massive tax hikes.”
“The news that unused commercial land will be re-designated for starter homes is also a welcome move, and one that could revitalise presently under-used town centres. Bringing in new residents to repopulate these areas is a sensible solution to a growing UK-wide problem. By re-generating these sites and putting them to developable use, the government could make a real step towards not only addressing the housing deficit but boosting local economy.”
“The release of public land for house building is definitely a step in the right direction. No one wants homes being built in their own backyard but we know there are both public land and brownfield sites that can be developed in and around Cheshire and Merseyside.”
For Residential Conveyancing legal support, contact Tim Jordan on 01925 230000 or by email Tim.Jordan@fdrlaw.co.uk