Following the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement today (22 November 2023), Brendan Sharkey, Construction and Real Estate Specialist at MHA, says that the Chancellor should have announced stamp duty cuts to shake up the housing market:
“Housebuilding and help for young people and first-time buyers was absent from the statement. It’s a shame the Chancellor didn’t announce cuts to stamp duty. This would have created demand and at the same provided much needed affordable properties.
“We also need policies to help young people or first-time buyers get into the property market at a time when interest rates and renting are high. Affordable housing needs more support and investment, which should have been an area of focus.”
“There were some very positive developments though. The unfreezing of the local housing allowance, fixed since 2020, provides an element of relief for families who are on low income and struggling to find affordable housing or pay their rent.
“Permitted development will now extend to enable one property to be converted in two flats, thereby increasing the supply of new homes, though building controls will need to be upheld during this process. Finally the planning application reforms should speed up the process of new projects and recoverable costs will ease concerns if project deadlines are not met. However, will the Local Authorities have enough resource or will those that pay the piper get priority and the application from smaller SMS’s get overlooked?”