Moving into 2017 - Autumn Statement - What were the key housing announcements?
Scrapping tax on savings interest and cracking down on tax evasion were hot topics when we asked our members what they’d like to see in the Autumn Statement*, but what were their views on housing, and what were they hoping to see Philip Hammond focus on during his maiden speech as Chancellor?
Perhaps surprisingly, members were evenly split between giving more help to first time buyers (30%) versus greater investment in housing for older people wishing to downsize (29%), while the remainder had no strong preference either way. However, the focus on the day was very much on affordable homes, with the Chancellor announcing that the Government will fund a so-called ‘large-scale’ pilot of the Right to Buy scheme for housing association tenants1. This change will see more than 3,000 tenants able to buy their homes using Right to Buy discounts, and if the scheme is then rolled out further, it will be interesting to see what that means for the intermediary market.
Furthermore, an investment of £1.4bn will be made by the government to deliver 40,000 affordable homes. The cash will be split between rent to buy, shared ownership and affordable rent schemes, meaning a potential opportunity for intermediaries looking to drive business in these areas – if you would like to find out more about shared ownership, find our recent blog on the topic here: http://www.leedsbuildingsociety.co.uk/intermediaries/news/2016/shared-ownership/.
In addition to the focus on Right to Buy and affordable housing, a £2.3bn Housing Infrastructure Fund was announced with an aim to deliver up to 100,000 new homes in areas of high demand2. The Chancellor recognised that home ownership is still impossible for many, with a Housing Whitepaper to be released by the Government before the end of the year, which will look to address some of the issues having an impact on home ownership.
The injection of capital into the housing market appears to have been welcomed by the industry, and we are looking forward to seeing what happens next.
In Part 2 of our ‘Moving into 2017’ series, we will be discussing what the Housing Whitepaper could bring and how it could effect the industry.
For more information about Leeds Building Society or to speak to one of our team about general enquiries or specific cases call 03450 50 5555. We may monitor and/or record your telephone conversations with the Society to ensure consistent service levels (including colleague training).
* The survey, which was undertaken through Leeds Building Society’s customer panel ‘TalkingPoint’, sought the views of 248 members in the month of November 2016.