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BUDGET 2024: What Could The Chancellor Do To Support The Property Sector?

In advance of the Budget on Wednesday 6 March, divisions of LRG have been considering the changes that would benefit our sector.

Allison Thompson MARLA National Lettings Managing Director, LRG

The private rented sector must be better supported by Government as part of a drive to resolve the housing crisis.

Central to this is relaxing some of the tax implications on landlords, to compensate for the losses incurred through additional regulation, interest rates rises and potentially the impact of the Renters Reform Bill.

I hope that the Chancellor takes into consideration the important fact that the private rented sector is the only business sector in the UK which, since the abolition of MIRAS, is taxed without offsetting. The playing field needs to be levelled, urgently, to retain the level of stock in the private rented sector.

Kevin Shaw National Sales Managing Director, LRG

The health of the property market is vital to the success of the UK economy. This is partly because the domino effect from a house sale is greater than that of any other purchase: from professional fees to redecoration and the purchase of new furniture the total spend by new home owners – and therefore the benefit to the economy – far exceeds the house price.

For many years it feels as if the Government, in its constant stalling of new home development and disincentivising of the private rented sector, has failed to understand the seismic impact of the property market on the economy.

Movement in the housing market also contributes substantially to a sense of wellbeing in the economy and in individuals’ lives – both of which are fundamental when it comes to voting to keep the government in power or go for an alternative.

With a general election only months away, I would hope that the Government appreciates what some tweaks to fiscal policy could do – to their own benefit as well as to the country at large.

Interest rates are the biggest barometer of all: an interest rate change of as little as 0.25% would have a considerable impact on sentiment. The Government’s focus must be on reducing inflation so that interest rates fall and mortgages with them. While changes to interest rates per se aren’t within the Government’s control, creating the right environment for an interest rate change certainly is.

Sarah Thompson Managing Director at Mortgage Scout

All that we in the mortgage industry ask of the Chancellor is that he concentrates on lowering interest rates.

This means getting inflation under control – admittedly no mean feat – so that the Bank of England can take a majority decision to reduce interest rates. In the past few months members of the Monetary Policy Committee have expressed a desire to do so: we’re half way there.

Once interest rates begin to come down, the housing market will react quickly. Addressing both the cost of living crisis and the housing crisis, this will result in a win-win for both politicians and the electorate.

Tim Foreman Managing Director of Land and New Homes, LRG

Since the government ended the Help to Buy scheme it has become increasingly difficult for first time buyers to get on the housing ladder, with many having to find huge sums of money to use as their deposit. I would like to see the Government turn its attention to first time buyers, appreciating the difficulties that they face and enabling them to make the very important first step on to the ladder – and in doing so, getting the market moving for thousands of others.

Currently only the ‘have to moves’ are motivated. But a relatively simple initiative aimed at first time buyers would free up the market, restore sentiment and get the ‘want to moves’ motivated again.

With an election only months away, it’s a no-brainer.

Karen Charles Executive Director, Boyer

The list of what the Chancellor could introduce to bring forward more new homes is considerable.  From my point of view, we need to see initiatives to support the delivery of homes in sustainable communities with high quality placemaking and healthy neighbourhoods in settlements where people want to live such as large villages and towns, alongside high density housing on urban brownfield sites which is the Government’s preference. There is a need for balance and the delivery of a variety of homes in a mix of locations to meet different housing needs.

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