Why was housing ignored in the budget?

On the 8th March, Chancellor Phillip Hammond delivered his budget for this year. While it was good news for the NHS, transport and school sectors, those within the property industry were perplexed to be left out in the cold with no indication of how the chancellor plans to improve the turbulent housing situation within the UK.

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Not a mention

Although no increases in property taxes were revealed in the budget, those who work in the property industry – including landlords, estate agents and house builders – were left bitterly disappointed by Hammond’s failure to reduce or reverse some of the highly unpopular tax reforms that were put in place by the previous chancellor, as reported in The Telegraph. The fact that he failed to address housing at all did not go unnoticed.

Another setback

Another setback for landlords, self-employed letting agents and property investors is the controversial increase in National Insurance for the self-employed. However, the fall in corporation tax will provide a boost for buy-to-let landlords.

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Ultimately, the chancellor’s failure to make positive changes designed to breathe new life into the already struggling UK housing market has left many key industry figures highly frustrated. Many of them were hoping to see things like mortgage interest relief, letting agent fees, VAT on renovations, fresh ideas on schemes to help first-time buyers and stamp duty reform being addressed and had expressed their desire for these changes prior to the Spring budget being delivered.

Going forward

Buy-to-let tax changes, dividend allowance and inheritance tax reforms are some of the previous changes due to be rolled out from April this year, and many industry experts are feeling disillusioned, particularly in the aftermath of the underwhelming white paper from February, which also did little to quell the fears of those in the housing sector. With tax relief due to be cut and the stamp duty levy also hitting homeowners, many people are expecting to take a hit. Whether you’re a Gloucester estate agent like (http://www.tgres.co.uk/) or a Llandudno landlord, you can be forgiven for not being overjoyed with the chancellor’s budget.

With this golden opportunity apparently missed, all those in the housing industry can do is hope for a better deal – or at least some acknowledgement – in the Autumn budget.

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