Housing was briefly mentioned as Phillip Hammond was drawing to close the Spring Statement on 13th March 2018. CEO of The Guild of Property Professionals, Iain McKenzie, shares his thoughts on what the government has said, and not said, about the housing market.
“I am pleased that housing has at least been mentioned in the Spring Statement 2018. Despite this, many of the key issues surrounding the housing crisis have been overlooked or understated.”
What was mentioned?
The Spring Statement announced an additional £1.7 billion to deliver 26,000 affordable homes in London, including for social rent. This will bring the total number to 116,000 new homes in London by the end of 2021/22. Additionally, collaboration with local housing associations will lead to the 250,000 homes to be built in the West Midlands.
The Guild’s reaction
“Investment in housing infrastructure and collaboration with local housing authorities is undeniably a positive thing. Chancellor of the Exchequer, Phillip Hammond, nevertheless needs to put more emphasis on the housing crisis. The creation of a few hundred thousand homes in London and the West Midlands will not solve the issue for the 5,000,000 people who privately rent in the UK and are still unable to get onto the housing ladder. The changes to Stamp Duty have helped 60,000 first-time buyers, but this is not enough.
“Guild Members have expressed their concerns to me about Stamp Duty rates stagnating the second homes market/private landlord market, lowering the amount of private rental stock and creating increased competition for tenants.
“To lessen the risk of tenants paying higher rents, the government should review the policies that support corporate landlords at the expense of good conscientious private landlords. I am happy to discuss this in person with any government or home office official,” continued Iain.