29 October 2021

Chancellor Rishi Sunak today announced the Autumn Budget. The focus on the property sector was almost exclusively aimed at boosting investment for house builders and redevelopment, including further investment for the removal of hazardous high-rise cladding.

High-profile issues surrounding Stamp Duty, Inheritance Tax and Capital Gains Tax were absent during the announcement, though we'll delve into the specifics when the budget is published later today. (If we uncover anything, we'll be sure to update you here.)

New Homes: Affordable Housing Investment & Redevelopment

Mr Sunak is promising a multi-year housing investment of £24 billion, including £11.5 billion towards building 180k affordable new homes.

He also announced a further £1.8 billion to develop brownfield sites across the UK, with the potential to build 160,000 new homes.

Both these measures are the Government's answer for helping to stabilise the housing stock crisis, largely impacted by the halts in output caused by lockdowns throughout the pandemic.

Land and New Homes Director, David Waddington believes this is a great move.

"When the cost of borrowing is low, the appeal to first-time buyers to get onto the property ladder will be never better.

"Quality in delivering new homes is a must and eager buyers will now see new properties as an obvious solution."

Removal of unsafe cladding

Long campaigned for in response to the tragic events at Grenfell Tower in 2017, the Chancellor also announced £5 billion to remove unsafe cladding from high-risk high rise residential buildings.

This sum is said to be funded in part by the Residential Property Developers Tax, levied on housing developers at a rate of 4% with profits over £25 million.

Linley and Simpson CEO, Nick Simpson said this has been a long time coming.

"It's a massive positive. All of our blocks are already in the de-cladding process - people's safety has always been and always will be most important. To see funding being supplied for these processes is brilliant."

Boost to England's planning system

Aiming to accelerate planning system changes made last year, Mr Sunak has announced £65 million to boost England's planning system.

He also revealed that the system would also be modernised by converting it all to digital, thereby making local plans more fast and more convenient to access.

"This will likely help developers get properties on the market faster," says Nick Simpson.

"Getting stock on the market is crucial and now there's another way to speedily do so."

Business rates and green investment relief

Business rates received attention too. Revaluations will now occur every 3 years from 2023, with the hope of creating a fairer system and "stronger High Streets".

A new 50% business rate discount for retail, hospitality and leisure sectors could save business up to a maximum of £110,000 over the course of one year.

Green measures are being encouraged too, with investment relief available for companies who adopt energy-efficient changes.

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