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Property and finance experts respond to Budget

In the November 2017 Budget, Chancellor Philip Hammond introduced several measures that affect the housing market, but some property and finance experts have argued that the Budget did not go far enough in helping people buy homes.

The government is to support the building of 300,000 new homes. First-time home buyers will not be charged stamp duty on homes worth £300,000 or less. To encourage the use of empty houses, local councils will be able to levy a 100% council charge surcharge.

Benson Hersch, CEO of the Association of Short Term Lenders (ASTL), told he welcomes the building of new houses but says it is not enough and there should be more social housing. He added that deposits on homes were too high for many people, and that bridging loans and other alternative finance solutions were providing financial help that he felt the government should be providing.

Paresh Raja, a bridging finance expert, said that the Chancellor should have abolished the 3% stamp duty for second homes because this has caused people to be put off purchasing houses. Abolishing the increased stamp duty could encourage people to buy and refurbish houses in bad conditions in order to increase the housing supply.

Steve Burrows, Managing Director of Landlord Secure, said that renters should be able to use rents paid as part of their credit profile. This would make it easier for tenants to obtain a mortgage and make their first steps on the property ladder.