Chancellor Philip Hammond delivered his first Budget on Wednesday and as far as we can tell, the property industry seems to have escaped relatively unscathed.
That said, landlords and buy-to-let investors took such a hit at the last one, with an additional 3% levied on stamp duty for the purchase of a second home. There was no reference to the phased reduction of mortgage interest tax relief beginning next month or to letting agents’ fees.
There appear to be moves to clamp down on those setting up limited companies to minimise the tax burden of owning multiple properties and there is the concern, voiced by letting agencies, that changes to self-employed National Insurance and a hardening of government policy towards self-employed incorporation may impact landlords in the long term.
Prior to the Budget, there were reports that the Treasury had looked at data surrounding the effect of stamp duty on both residential transaction levels and on revenue achieved by the measure. However, the Chancellor ruled out action today, suggesting he would see if there was a need for further revision later in 2017.
As an aside to the Budget, an online petition that calls for rental payments to be recognised as evidence that mortgage payments can be met has gained 142,267 votes (19:23 - 09/03/2017) meaning that Parliament will consider it for debate. It’s an interesting point given that the person who started the petition claims to have comfortably paid £70,000 in rent.
We’ll aim to keep you posted on any developments.