Pygott & Crone Director Tim Downing, reacting to today’s Autumn Budget said: “Although Mr Hammond kept us waiting until the end of the Budget, the housing crisis was significantly addressed today and, arguably the biggest announcement of the speech – the scrapping of stamp duty for first time buyers on properties under £300,000 – was also held back until the end.
“The drop in first time buyers was acknowledged – this was important to raise and the government obviously does realise that there is an issue and is aware that something clearly needs to be done to make it easier for people to get onto the property ladder. ‘The dream of home ownership’ was repeated a number of times and I feel that this does surmise the feeling of a lot of first time buyers in this country at the moment.
“Thankfully, in Lincolnshire we have a strong economy, house prices are comparatively lower to those in the south of the country and we have fresh stock coming to the market relatively regularly. That being said, there’s always more work to do and we welcome the government’s pledge to deliver 300,000 new homes per year and its promise to work closely with local authorities and developers to ensure that land with planning permission is used to its full potential.
“Our region has a significant amount of available land ideal for development and hopefully this government intervention will help get things moving.
“The creation of five new garden towns is certainly exciting news – the first location has been announced as being due to break ground in the Cambridge/Milton Keynes/Oxford corridor. This is great news but if the government really is committed to the Northern Powerhouse and Midlands Engine we really need to see more announcements for towns in our region – as Mr Hammond said himself, the wealth needs to be spread and not retained in London and its surrounding areas.
“Stamp duty has been a hot topic for quite some time so today’s announcement won’t come as a shock to many with regards first time buyers now being exempt from paying the fee on properties up to £300,000 which could see savings of up to £5,000 for first timers.
“Brexit is obviously still something that the property industry has concerns over and the government has committed significant investment to ensuring that our ‘deep and special’ relationship with Europe remains intact. I will wait to see how negotiations develop before commenting but confidence in the market has certainly returned following the referendum and, with the increase in skills and training investment also announced today I am confident that our industry will show itself to be resilient, hardy and productive following our exit and beyond.”