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The Budget 2017 roundup – all the top mortgage and housing headlines

  • 22/11/2017
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The Budget 2017 roundup – all the top mortgage and housing headlines
Chancellor Philip Hammond had a difficult high wire act to perform today. He got some of the tough figures away upfront like the £700m we’ve already spent on Brexit preparations and the other £3bn ‘if and when needed’ which is tough to hear when a pay rise for nurses still depends on the outcome of talks with the health secretary.

Hammond said: “We choose the future. To run toward change, not to run from it.” And the future was largely about bricks and mortar it seems.

But for several years, housing and the mortgage industries have been the headline, if not the rabbit out of the hat in the Budget speech. The drinks industry is probably the only other one celebrating as hard over the tax freeze on wine and beer yet again this year, possibly having more fun while doing it too.

But in just over an hour, Hamond calmly-delivered stamp duty exemptions, effective immediately to any first-time buyer on a property worth up to £300,000 or higher in expensive areas.

Budget 2017: Hammond slashes stamp duty for first-time buyers

Next, he committed £44bn of housing support to unlock the housing market, starting with an £8bn allocation to support private builders and build to rent firms, alongside a swath of other measures.

Budget 2017: £44bn committed to support housing market

Business owners were targeted and will warmly receive the bits of the speech including Hammond’s announcement he would be maintaining the VAT threshold and slowing the gradual rise in business rates. The switch is worth £2.3bn to business over five years, Hammond said.

Budget 2017: Hammond gives small business a boost

In other stories, the chancellor set a challenge for the property and fintech companies as he launched a competition to see which tech company could come up with a tool to help rental history count toward mortgage affordability and credit scores for mortgage lenders. We’ll keep a close eye on that.

Budget 2017: Fintech competition launched to develop FTB rent history-mortgage affordability tool

The stamp duty surcharge and rent-a-room relief were hidden in the dusty corners of Budget small print and not explicitly mentioned by Philip Hammond in his speech. But it’s a bid to close oft-exploited loopholes with partners handing off 1% of their equity to avoid the buy-to-let surcharge. Not any more.

Budget 2017: The small-print – Chancellor ‘tidies up’ 3% BTL surcharge loopholes and rent-a-room scheme

Empty property home owners are in the firing line for a 100% Council Tax surcharge if those homes are tenant-free. This isn’t going to be much of an earner but is a symbolic shot across the bows from the Chancellor.

Budget 2017: Council Tax for empty properties to double

And finally, the Office for Budget Responsibility has offered its humble opinion that the chancellor’s stamp duty cut for first-time buyers can only drive up property prices and so, end up benefiting homeowners. It’s not the only critic either, with the BSA and LSE chiming in.

Budget 2017: OBR and BSA warn stamp duty cut will inflate prices


That’s your 2017 Budget roundup on Mortgage Solutions.

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