Budget 2018 – Good News for First-Time Buyers
In the 2018 Budget, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Philip Hammond, revealed significant changes for the property sector.
There has been criticism of the Help to Buy scheme in recent months, however, there is no denying the results it has delivered, which is why I felt it was encouraging to see the government’s commitment to helping first-time buyers through the scheme’s extension until 2023. Since its launch in 2013, it has helped over 136,650 first-time buyers onto the property ladder and has also enabled many second-time buyers to upsize, as this purchaser can often find it more difficult than any other to move from the first home in order to accommodate for their growing family’s needs. The Help to Buy scheme has therefore worked hard to not only help first-time buyers onto the ladder but also free up already built housing stock by assisting those at other stages of the buying lifecycle.
The biggest factor contributing to our country’s austerity is the housing crisis, of which the end is most definitely not yet in sight. A lot more needs to be done to solve it, but there is value in having a variety of initiatives and incentives available to the market and this has clearly been recognised by the government. With the Stamp Duty Land Tax relief for first-time buyers being continued and also now extended to those purchasing a property through the Shared Ownership scheme. It will be interesting to see the results this relief for first-time buyers delivers in due course.
It’s difficult to predict the extent to which these announcements will benefit our industry, but one positive outcome was the launch of the British Business Bank’s £1billion fund dedicated to supporting SME housebuilders. Holistic works with a number of regional housebuilders with plans to play a significant in delivering the homes London and its neighbouring towns need, so I am delighted that the government have provided them with further incentive to help meet the 300,000 per year housebuilding target set out in last year’s Budget.
Finally, while this year’s Budget did seem to offer a positive outlook on our country’s fiscal position, only time will tell whether austerity is really coming to an end.