Philip Hammond

What does the Autumn Statement mean for the housing market?

The situation with housing in the UK was clearly a priority for chancellor Philip Hammond in this year’s Autumn Statement. The chancellor pledged funds to build new homes and introduced measures to make letting agents pass all fees on to landlords.

The chancellor announced funding for new homes in 3 key ways:

  1. £1.4bn set aside to help build 40,000 new, affordable homes of which there is not a huge amount of detail about how the funds will be used, where it will be spent. We’ll have to wait for a paper to confirm the exact plans.
  1. £2.3bn infrastructure fund to help provide cash where new homes are required in high-demand areas.
  1. £3.15bn to fund new, affordable housing in London, helping to create 90,000 new homes.

According to the National Housing Federation, representing Housing Associations, the news is welcome, giving confidence that “extra investment will… build more affordable homes” particularly after figures show that rates at which affordable housing has been completed has been falling for a few years now.

According to the OBR, the UK public finances have taken a £122bn hit due to the impact that Brexit will be having on the economy and the lasting impact of renegotiating trade deals over the next 10 years. This has put more pressure and scrutiny on the chancellor’s Autumn Statement, to the point that he made changes to the way the statement’s and budget’s will be delivered – reversing the two dates.

Additionally, the chancellor has announced plans to ensure that all letting agents are passing on letting fees to landlords and not to tenants. The move is seen to potentially drive competition in the lettings market for a fairer system, and more affordable renting for tenants.

Other notable inclusions in the Autumn Statement included a rising of the Living Wage to £7.50/hr, a freeze on fuel duty and increased borrowing that is expected to see the UK government miss debt targets set out by former chancellor, George Osborne.

The Autumn Statement is likely to provide new opportunities for first-time buyers and increased Help to Buy opportunities – an area that Grange Mortgages specialises in. If we can help you get on the ladder or move further up the ladder, give us a call on 01604 877 999.

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