Housing Specification Blog

What does the Autumn Statement mean for housing?

December 6, 2012 Alexandra Blakeman Planning & Legislation

Chancellor George Osborne updated MPs on the state of the economy yesterday by releasing his Autumn Statement.

Funding to assist the building of up to 120,000 new homes was announced. However, housing professionals say that 50% of this figure alludes to projects already in existence.

RIBA is calling the Autumn Statement a ‘missed opportunity’ to mend our housing crisis. In a statement, RIBA President Angela Brady said that the commitment to build 120,000 new homes ‘fell significantly short’ of the 300,000 needed to tackle the issue.

Brady said: “Design quality is vital for creating long lasting sustainable homes and communities and offering real long-term value to the taxpayer.”

How the Autumn Statement will  affect you…

If you’re a first time buyer?

No specific targets were implemented to aid those trying to get a foot on the housing ladder. Stamp Duty Land Tax was left unchanged, i.e. the tax paid when purchasing a property of a certain value. It applies to the purchases of all houses, flats, other buildings and land.

Financial experts were expecting some improvements to be made to the Funding for Lending scheme which may have eventually helped first time buyers.

If you’re a homeowner?

The Autumn Statement ruled out mansion tax. Osborne said that a property tax would be ‘intrusive’ and offer temptation to future governments who might wish to profit by extending the catchment of properties caught by the tax.

It’s likely than anyone who owns a large, detached house in the South of England will face the expected tax on properties worth £1m.

However, owners of high value property, purchased through a company may face a similar levy to mansion tax.

The Chancellor said that the government would now be looking at homeowners with an estimated value of £1m, rather than the previous threshold of between £2.5m and £20m. Further plans will be announced in the Finance Bill on 11 December.

Less well-off homeowners will be able to claim support for mortgage interest (SMI) until March 2015 if they are claiming income support, jobseeker’s allowance, income-related employment and support allowance or pension credit.

How do you think the Autumn Statement will affect housing growth? Leave your comments below.

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