Chancellor Philip Hammond’s first Autumn Budget unveiled a range of measures to boost housing and devolution.
The Chancellor confirmed a £1.7bn “Transforming Cities Fund”, with half the cash going to the metro mayors and the rest open to competition and announced further measures for more devolution to the West Midlands, alongside a deal for North of the Tyne. He also mentioned five new garden towns.
With the Industrial Strategy expected on Monday, Mr Hammond added: ‘We’re developing a local industrial strategy with Manchester.’
This is good news for landlords investing in properties in the regions.
Housing is a keystone of his budget.
He announced at least £44bn to address the housing crisis, pledging to deliver 300,000 new homes a year, alongside an urgent review of land banking practices. Help is promised to promote the work of SME Housebuilders.
He promised planning reforms to tackle the gap between the number of homes being given planning consent and the number of homes that are actually built.
He also promised to use planning reform to make better use of the nation’s urban footprint, to unlock strategic land and to protect the green belt.
The long-awaited rebranding of the Homes and Communities Agency to Homes England was also announced.
But the key housing announcement for local government lies in a promise to lift the Housing Revenue Account cap in areas of high housing demand.
One of the major tax announcements in the budget also related to the housing market, where first time buyers of houses worth up to £300,000 will be exempt from Stamp Duty Land Tax.
Those acquiring higher valued properties of up to £500,000 will receive a nil rate band on the first £300,000, the aim being to assist 95 per cent of first time buyers and help turn their dreams of home ownership into a reality.
He announced a further £28m to help Kensington and Chelsea LBC in the aftermath of the Grenfell tragedy and urged councils struggling to pay for fire safety work to come to him, although he stopped short of pledging to pay for the work.
The good news for landlords is that there were no unwelcome surprises of a negative nature.
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