What does the Autumn Statement mean for housing?

The Chancellor outlined several plans in his 2015 Autumn Statement and Spending Review which detailed how the Government planned to take us forward towards a stronger economy and a £10bn surplus by 2020.

There were also a few surprises in store for property owners – here are the highlights:

  • An increase in Stamp Duty Land Tax on Buy To Let
  • 400,000 new homes will be built by the end of the decade
  • London Help to Buy Scheme
  • New Right to Buy for housing association tenants

Pricing out?

The Government announced an increase in Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) from 1st April 2016 on all Buy To Let properties. By doing this, the Chancellor is aiming to reduce the number of Buy To Let investors coming to market, enabling first time buyers to take their place and climb on to the housing ladder. He said: “people buying a home to let should not be squeezing out families who cannot afford to buy”. However, he could find that the tax changes will actually drive any “accidental landlords” out of the market and as a result exacerbate a housing crisis for renters.

Build and they will come

In his Spending Review, the Chancellor also laid plans to double the housing budget to £2bn. This will be broken down in to 400,000 affordable new homes, half of which will be starter homes and 135,000 will be shared ownership. New homes will be offered at a 20% discount price for homes in London up to the value of £400,000 and £250,000 in the rest of the UK. £200m of funding will be allocated to 10,000 new homes that tenants can live in for five years at reduced rents before entering in to “Right to Buy”. £400m will be used to build 8,000 adapted properties for older people or those with disabilities.

This housebuilding programme is the largest since the 1970s.

No doubt many housebuilders will be breathing a sigh of relief after a long recession that drew many dark clouds across the sector. Barratt Homes reported a 21% sales jump for during November and Taylor Wimpey’s 2% rise in operating profit will no doubt only increase as the Government’s plans for investment in to the sector take hold.

It will not just be new homes that will spring up as a result of today’s announcements. Plans for councils to keep the money raised from the sale of council property could promote more brown-field site re-development.

What’s next?

At the end of his Spending Review, the Chancellor announced that he would help ease the housing crisis and one of the ways that will be achieved is through the relaxing of planning permission laws and easier processes for buildings’ change of use.

The UK has a high need for housing and unused or derelict buildings can be an eyesore – as well as a wasted resource. Now, the Government has introduced new measures to allow the change of use of buildings without the need for planning permission in a number of circumstances.

To further support the delivery of new homes, permitted development rights will now enable the change of use of light industrial buildings and launderettes to new homes. In future, the rights will also allow the demolition of office buildings so that they can be turned in to residential properties.

Further to this, planning regulations will no longer allow objections to planning applications on the grounds of view. The “Right of Light” law was enforceable against properties that were built in the shadow of another, which as a result reduced the amount of daylight within that property. However, that right will now be waived in certain circumstances, and will not be used as the only objection to planning.

If you would like any further information on how the Autumn Statement and Spending Review could affect you, then please don’t hesitate to get in touch. Call our team today on 023 9298 1000.

Danielle has over 15 years’ experience of homes and private property law.  At the beginning of 2014 she was appointed as Verisona Law’s Head of Residential Property and manages the team that acts for buyers and sellers across the South Coast and Nationally.

Danielle’s move to the South Coast in 2013 came after she and her husband decided to live full-time in a holiday home they purchased in Bracklesham Bay near Chichester two years ago. ‘My husband spent his childhood holidays in the area and when he took me to visit, I fell in love with it. We bought the property that we now want to call home and are embarking on a major renovation project.’

Danielle began working at a local law firm where she grew up in Middlesex while studying her A-levels.  In an effort to keep her after she achieved top grades, the firm offered to support her in qualifying with the Institute of Legal Executives, CILEx. She accepted, became a fee earner at just 19 years old and was able to work in most areas of law. This has given her a wealth of experience.

In 2010, Danielle was headhunted to take her first Head of Department role in the property department of a five office firm in Surrey, Berkshire and Hampshire before becoming an equity shareholder.

She moved to Verisona Law in 2014.

  • Buying and Selling Residential Property
  • Dealing with both Freehold and Leasehold properties
  • Lease Extensions
  • New Builds
  • Remortgaging
  • Shared Ownership
  • Key Workers
  • Help to buy schemes
  • Acting for management companies
  • Right to manage
  • Transfer of Equity
  • Deeds of Variation or Rectification
  • Equity Release Schemes



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