Given the current challenges facing the UK and the world, it was always likely housing matters would be forced to take a back seat in the March Budget. While housing was a significant issue for the Conservative Government in the build-up to the General Election, the impact of Coronavirus means housing was no longer at the forefront of measures being introduced.

One of the leading housing measures introduced during the Budget was the 2% surcharge of non-UK residents buying property here. Mark Hayward is the Chief Executive of NAEA Propertymark, and he spoke about the stamp duty surcharge, saying; “If introduced, this policy allows those in the UK to have a better chance at purchasing a home. However, overseas buyers tend to purchase properties in prime central London which are completely unaffordable to most homebuyers anyway. Therefore, this move will not help those that need it most.”

There are mixed opinions on the surcharge

There have been mixed opinions regarding the surcharge. Some observers think it will make a difference, but not everyone has been convinced. Some critics are concerned that the measures will only affect the London and South East of England markets. Others worry about how many properties will be snapped up this year, before the measure comes into effect in 2021.

There was also criticism surrounding a lack of measures supporting homebuyers. Martijn van der Heijden is the chief strategy officer of online mortgage firm Habito, and he said; “At a time when current and aspiring homeowners are seeking confidence and reassurance, the absence of specific measures to support them onto the housing ladder or into their next home is disappointing.”

Martijn continued by saying; “We know that access to the housing market remains a fundamental challenge for many, so the lack of structural measures to get a broken housing market moving will come as unwelcome news for households up and down the country.”

Landlord groups are also unhappy with the news

However, while there has been unhappiness at a lack of support for property buyers, there has also been criticism surrounding a lack of support for landlords and tenants. The Residential Landlords Association, (RLA) and National Landlords Association (NLA), prepared a joint statement, which stated;

“The Government is undermining its own efforts to boost homeownership through its attacks on the private rented sector. By choking-off supply and making renting more expensive it is tenants who are hardest hit. Ministers need to wake up to the reality of the damage their tax measures are doing to the private rented sector and support landlords to provide the new homes for private rent we desperately need.”

Whatever move you wish to make in the property or rental market in 2020, it is best to call on the local experts. We are pleased to say we have assisted many buyers, vendors, landlords and tenants, and we look forward in helping you. We can arrange a property valuation on your behalf, and we can take you from start to end with any sales, buying or letting process. Contact Bond Oxborough Phillips today, and we will be more than happy to assist you.