Budget 2014: What does it mean for you?

 
Budget 2014: What does it mean for you?

The Budget announcement is always one of the biggest talking points of the year for a number of sectors - and property is no different. In recent years, Funding for Lending, the stamp duty holiday and Help to Buy have all been heralded as great announcements from chancellors that helped the property market grow and return to the healthier position now being enjoyed.

George Osborne delivered 2014's Budget last week (March 19th), and big things were expected from the chancellor, but did he deliver? We look at how the property market will be affected by the latest announcement. 

Help to Buy

One of the biggest changes to be made this year was actually an alteration of last year's blockbuster announcement rather than anything too groundbreaking.

Getting people on the housing ladder has been a priority for the coalition government ever since it gained power, and this year will be no different. 

Help to Buy brought thousands of people onto the housing ladder - as well as helping locked-in homeowners to move at last - following its introduction last year, so the extension to 2020 (the deadline was previously 2017) of the scheme should be welcomed by the market with open arms.

Building

Another of the big issues that has been raised in the past 12 months has been that of the housing shortage nationwide, which has pushed prices higher and threatened to impact affordability in the eyes of many.

The good news is that the government has looked to address this with the announcement that it will be pledging half a billion pounds to get small builders back on sites, helping to extend the feelgood factor in the building industry following a 23 per cent pickup in activity in 2013.

Stamp duty

Perhaps the biggest criticism of the Budget, however, centred around stamp duty, and the chancellor's failure to address it at the lowest level, which many expected he would do.

Predictions were that a gradual system would be brought in to help ease the number of properties that are going unsold because they are valued at just over £500,000, meaning buyers need to pay a four per cent levy.

The government did not move on this issue, however, drawing criticism from RICS among others. 

Stamp duty was not totally left out, though, and the institutional private rental sector actually received a boost in the announcement, following the revelation that corporate buyers could be exempt from the new 15 per cent levy on purchasing homes as part of a company if their intention is to rent them out. 

It is one of the more positive moves for the sector, because it could mean a greater number of new homes, owned through companies and funds, becoming available in the private sector. This would help meet the demand that has pushed prices up time and again in the last few years.