Last week Chancellor Philip Hammond delivered his first – and last! – Autumn Statement. Mr Hammond declared there to be no need for two economic statements each year and, as such, as of next year the Budget will be delivered in the autumn and the spring statement will be scrapped.
Housing, as expected, was a feature in this year’s statement with a pledge made to invest £23bn to build more houses in high demand areas.
There was little, however, in the way of help for buyers. Lack of housing availability is not the only reason buyers are struggling to get on or move up the housing ladder. Affordability is a much bigger issue so it was disappointing to see no changes to Stamp Duty, for example, which would help many buyers.
The increase in Insurance Premium Tax (IPT) will also come as a blow to many buyers and homeowners. Home insurance costs will rise once again thanks to the hike – the third increase in IPT in less than two years. Home insurance – including contents cover – is a crucial product for homeowners – as we saw only too clearly this time last year when floods devastated Yorkshire. Let’s hope the increase in prices doesn’t deter consumers from seeking good quality policies.
Finally of course the headline news for the housing market surrounded the rental sector as Mr Hammond announced letting agent fees for tenants would be banned. This is an issue that has been the subject of debate for some time and I’m sure renters will welcome the move. Let’s hope we don’t see an increase in rents however if agents hike the fees their landlords must pay and landlords, in turn, look for somewhere to recoup their losses.
If you’re looking to buy a property and you’d like some advice on where things stand in the market right now, come and visit us at We Know Mortgages on Ducie Street, Manchester Piccadilly today.
A mortgage is a loan secured against your home. Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage or any other debt secured on it.